Definition of aphrodisiac in US English:



  • 1A food, drink, or drug that stimulates sexual desire.

    ‘the Romans worshiped the apple as an aphrodisiac’
    as adjective ‘aphrodisiac powers’
    • ‘When it comes to traditional restorative products and aphrodisiacs many pills and potions bare little in common with their label.’
    • ‘In the 17th century royals at Hampton Court drank it and ate it in vast quantities, believing it to be a powerful African aphrodisiac and hangover cure.’
    • ‘Many people believe in the power of chocolate as an aphrodisiac, while others swear by a certain perfume or cologne to ignite desire in the sought-after other.’
    • ‘In spite of its name, it is neither a stimulant nor an aphrodisiac.’
    • ‘Poaching continues, however, partly because many Mexican men believe sea turtle eggs, eaten raw with a pinch of lime and salt, are aphrodisiacs.’
    • ‘Cocoa's stimulative effect - it was once regarded as an aphrodisiac - comes from some of the chemicals in the cocoa bean.’
    • ‘Whether these foods are actually aphrodisiacs is debatable.’
    • ‘Their flavours include chocolate, cardamom and ginger - all aphrodisiacs.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, the roots have a reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac.’
    • ‘This vegetarian food is laced with aphrodisiacs.’
    • ‘Thousands of years ago, saffron was an expensive and aromatic spice use by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks as an aphrodisiac.’
    • ‘One question - is chocolate really an aphrodisiac?’
    • ‘The meal was vegetarian and lacked most spices, since certain foods are mild aphrodisiacs and monks supposedly lead celibate lives.’
    • ‘Lettuce was believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac.’
    • ‘While not an aphrodisiac, this medication has been reported to increase interest in sex as well as arousal.’
    • ‘For example, alcohol is commonly viewed as an aphrodisiac that increases sexual desire and capacity.’
    • ‘Oysters are always thought of as the ultimate aphrodisiac.’
    • ‘So just what is it that causes some foods to be labeled as aphrodisiacs?’
    • ‘The Chinese consider some mushrooms to be aphrodisiacs.’
    • ‘The leaves can be made into a tea or stewed, for use as an aphrodisiac.’
    love potion, philtre
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    1. 1.1 A thing that causes excitement.
      ‘for a few seconds she'd fallen for the powerful aphrodisiac of music’
      ‘power is an aphrodisiac’
      • ‘More proof that rock is the best aphrodisiac AND painkiller?’
      • ‘That's the price of power that these folks, who think of power as the ultimate aphrodisiac, are more than willing to pay.’
      • ‘Fame may indeed be the ultimate aphrodisiac, but for Dee, getting it turns out to be A Sweet Sickness.’
      • ‘He swiftly realised that a man with a guitar was a powerful aphrodisiac.’
      • ‘Contrary to the conventional wisdom of modern politics, however, his experience of the aphrodisiac of power did not seduce him into compromising his principles in pursuit of ever higher office.’
      erotic, sexy, sexually arousing, stimulative, stimulant
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Early 18th century: from Greek aphrodisiakos, from aphrodisios, from Aphroditē (see Aphrodite).