One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun A drug made from the dried leaves of certain South American plants, which contain the alkaloid pilocarpine and promote salivation when chewed.
- ‘In exanthematous fevers of all kinds jaborandi in small doses is the remedy par excellence.’
- ‘Both jaborandi and pilocarpine may cause headaches and can irritate the stomach and cause vomiting and nausea.’
2Any of the plants that yield jaborandi.
- ‘Pilocarpus was at one time adulterated with spurious jaborandis, other foreign leaves, stems, dirt and mouldy leaves.’
- ‘Brushwood is represented by low and thick bushes, at the sides of the paths, formed by jaborandis, vassouras, and carquejas.’
Early 17th century: from Tupi-Guarani jaburandi, literally ‘a person who spits’.
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