One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A sleep-inducing property or effect of a drug.
2Philosophy. An explanation which merely restates in different (especially overly technical or abstract) words the very thing which is to be explained; a circular or tautological explanation.
Mid 19th century. From post-classical Latin virtus dormitiva dormitive property from classical Latin virtus + post-classical Latin dormitiva, feminine of dormitivus.
virtus dormitiva/ˌvəːtəs dɔːmɪˈtʌɪvə//ˌvɪətʊs dɔːmɪˈtiːvə/
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