Entry from British & World English dictionary
noun[mass noun] British
- It'll pass of course, these things always do, and in the meantime I can get by on aspirin, linctus and the occasional hot toddy.
- He asked for a list of drugs, but Mrs Patel could only provide codeine linctus, which can be used by heroin addicts.
- There comes a time, however, when you simply can't face another pill, potion or linctus without throwing up.
Late 17th century: from Latin, from lingere 'to lick'.
This word for a cough mixture is an adoption of a Latin word which comes from lingere ‘to lick’. It is literally a mixture meant to be lapped up by the tongue.
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