Share this entry

theriac Syllabification: the·ri·ac
Pronunciation: /ˈTHirēˌak/

Definition of theriac in English:


An ointment or other medicinal compound used as an antidote to snake venom or other poison.
Example sentences
  • Numerous Islamic writers discussed poisons and particularly theriacs, the antidotes for poisons.
  • Ibn al-Mubarak devoted, in addition, a section, to theriacs and general antidotes.
  • Medieval physicians created even more elaborate theriacs to dose a plague-dreading populace, for whom the possibility of a cure-all didn't seem too wild a notion at all.


Late Middle English: from Latin theriaca (see treacle).

Words that rhyme with theriac

hypochondriac • Mauriac

Definition of theriac in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources