One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1archaic A medicated eyewash.
- ‘The invention further relates to suitable pharmaceutical compositions and particularly a collyrium.’
- ‘Topical drugs for the eye e.g. blockers and some preservatives used in ocular collyria are also reported to lead to dry eyes.’
- ‘In May we start the distribution of Flarex ® a cortisone-based collyrium made of fluoro-metholone received by Alcon in exclusive license for Italy.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘A preferred collyrium contains 0.05% by weight of mequitazine and 1% by weight of hydroxypropyl-.beta.-cyclodextrin.’
2mass noun A kind of dark eyeshadow, used especially in Eastern countries.
- ‘Who spoiled the painting on your breast and the collyrium of your eye?’
- ‘The name Anjan Shalaka is given to the ceremony of decorating the eyes of new images of Jins with collyrium made of many special substances, using in the process a gold-stick.’
- ‘The beloved's collyrium is made, however, from the ‘smoke of the flame of a voice’.’
Late Middle English: Latin, from Greek kollurion ‘poultice’, from kollura ‘coarse bread roll’.
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