One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small stony concretion that may form in the stomachs of certain animals, especially ruminants, and which was once used as an antidote for various ailments.
- ‘They induced him to swallow therapeutic potions of oriental bezoar stone from the stomach of a goat and boiled spirits from a human skull.’
- ‘An obstruction series or plain abdominal radiographs may be necessary to distinguish obstruction from parasites or bezoars.’
- ‘This sometimes results in a serious medical problem called gastric bezoar - more commonly known as a hairball - which may require surgical removal.’
- ‘Endoscopy revealed a large gastric bezoar and a 2 x 3 em lower esophageal ulcer that was thought to be the source of bleeding.’
- ‘Patients were still observed to empty liquids rapidly, leading to the ‘dumping syndrome’, and to retain solids, leading to bezoar formation.’
Late 15th century (in the general sense ‘stone or concretion’): from French bezoard, based on Arabic bāzahr, bādizahr, from Persian pādzahr ‘antidote’.
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