Definition of philtre in English:


(US philter)


  • A drink supposed to arouse love and desire for a particular person in the drinker; a love potion.

    ‘his philtres and potions’
    • ‘All my life I've been searching for that special scent, that mythical philtre, that would enable me to snare the woman of my dreams.’
    • ‘There's something purely foolish about attending any large gathering of men and women without benefit of some kind of philter or magic dust to blind you and weaken your critical faculties.’
    • ‘Even seminal fluid has been treated as a love philtre or prophylactic in witchcraft, and administered by Aborigines to dying or enfeebled members of their community.’
    concoction, mixture, brew, elixir, drink, decoction
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from French philtre, via Latin from Greek philtron, from philein ‘to love’.