Definition of poultice in US English:



  • A soft, moist mass of material, typically of plant material or flour, applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation and kept in place with a cloth.

    • ‘You can also use fresh mustard leaves as a poultice.’
    • ‘Home remedies consisting of poultices, eye irrigations, teas, etc., are liberally provided and described in detail.’
    • ‘Such practitioners, known as curanderos, use herb teas and poultices, traditional exercises, incantations, and magical touching to heal.’
    • ‘Believing himself capable of curing his affliction with poultices and antiseptics, he had only delayed the inevitable visit to the doctor's office.’
    • ‘The healers have their bandages and their poultices, their medicine and their skill.’
    • ‘Her mantle cavity's obviously infected, but those poultices you put on the wounds have probably kept her from dying.’
    • ‘She knows a lot about herbs and poultices and all that, mostly from her mother, who was a Druid.’
    • ‘Massage oils, poultices, steam inhalations, sitz, hand, body and foot baths, gargles and room sprays are the most common methods of administration.’
    • ‘He beckoned, then pointed at the poultice, and was relieved when the fledgling crawled over with no sign of either suspicion or fear.’
    • ‘Over the next two hours she concocted potions to relieve the pain, creams to help the healing, and a poultice to reduce the swelling.’
    • ‘Michael insisted on taking care of that himself, bandaging a poultice of herbs over the injury every morning.’
    • ‘Doctors in those days prescribed mustard poultices or the like and Mother knew all about those.’
    • ‘She worked quickly, applying several salves, and then a poultice.’
    • ‘A poultice of unknown contents was applied to the area, with subsequent development of the mass.’
    • ‘My hand traveled down my side and discovered the padding that had been secured to the wound; a rank stench told me that they had used a poultice to keep the infectious humors at bay.’
    • ‘Turmeric can also be applied topically in poultices to relieve pain and inflammation.’
    • ‘In Java, poultices of the herb are applied to old sores, scurvy, and other skin conditions.’
    • ‘Sunday was spent applying more unctions, lotions and poultices than any sane person should ever need.’
    • ‘Add a drop of lavender essential oil, and make a detoxifying poultice or mask.’
    • ‘Bandages and poultices covered the burn, and provided enough relief from the pain that she could function normally again.’
    ointment, cream, salve, balm, rub, emollient, moisturizer, lubricant, unguent, liniment, embrocation
    View synonyms


[with object]
  • Apply a poultice to.

    ‘he poulticed the wound’
    • ‘A Greek myth relates that Achilles used some form of the Yarrow for poulticing the wounds of his soldiers.’
    • ‘I took Dutch drops for it, and poulticed it by day, and I was bad for three weeks.’
    • ‘The blisters were drawn, clipped, poulticed; and not infrequently the odor arising from them could be recognized as soon as the door of the house was opened.’
    • ‘We're just hoping that poulticing it and hot-tubbing it will do the trick.’
    • ‘Mmm, he may have heated some dampened rags by the stove and poulticed them on the clay to render it supple.’


Late Middle English: from Latin pultes (plural), from puls, pult- ‘pottage, pap’.