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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘This sometimes results in a serious medical problem called gastric bezoar - more commonly known as a hairball - which may require surgical removal.’
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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