One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plaster or poultice.
- ‘It is used in the form of cataplasms, tonics, salves and plasters.’
- ‘It is employed where a cooling and astringent cataplasm is required.’
- ‘The thin aqueous cataplasm retains a moisture-protecting effect on the skin and provides comfortable feeling in its use.’
- ‘Some cataplasms were composed of barley flour in the form of paste after being well warmed.’
- ‘Pliny says, in so many words, that the cerates and cataplasms, plasters, collyria, and antidotes, so abundant in his time, as in more recent days, were mere tricks to make money.’
Middle English: from Old French cataplasme or late Latin cataplasma, from Greek kataplasma, from kataplassein ‘plaster over’.
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