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An antidote against poison, especially a confection formerly held to be an antidote to all poisons.

[Medieval Latin mithridātum, alteration of Late Latin mithridātīum, from Latin, neuter of Mithridātīus, of Mithridates, from Greek mithridāteios, after Mithridates VIwho is said to have acquired tolerance for poison.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Alchemy) obsolete a substance believed to be an antidote to every poison and a cure for every disease
[C16: from Late Latin mithradatium, after Mithridates VI, alluding to his legendary immunity to poisons]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈmɪθ rɪˌdeɪt)

a medicinal preparation believed to contain an antidote to every poison.
[1520–30; derivative of Late Latin Mithridātēs Mithridates VI, said to have so immunized himself]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
I have studied chemistry because, having determined to live in eastern climates I have been desirous of following the example of King Mithridates."
"Mithridates rex Ponticus," said the young scamp, as he tore some beautiful portraits out of a splendid album, "the individual who took cream in his cup of poison every morning at breakfast."
"It was his Cornelius Nepos that Master Edward was repeating when he referred to King Mithridates," continued the count, "and you interrupted him in a quotation which proves that his tutor has by no means neglected him, for your son is really advanced for his years."
He has but one fault, he is somewhat wilful; but really, on referring for the moment to what he said, do you truly believe that Mithridates used these precautions, and that these precautions were efficacious?"
"I have often read, and read again, the history of Mithridates," said Madame de Villefort in a tone of reflection, "and had always considered it a fable."
"No, madame, contrary to most history, it is true; but what you tell me, madame, what you inquire of me, is not the result of a chance query, for two years ago you asked me the same questions, and said then, that for a very long time this history of Mithridates had occupied your mind."
"And the more, madame," said Monte Cristo, "as the Orientals do not confine themselves, as did Mithridates, to make a cuirass of his poisons, but they also made them a dagger.
Sometimes more than one of these causes will excite men to enter into conspiracies, as contempt and desire of gain; as in the instance of Mithridates against Ariobarzanes.
Their national pride held him up as the Mithridates of the Republic.
"I would sooner, far sooner, have swallowed at one draught all the poisons that Mithridates drank in twenty years, in order to try and avoid death, than have betrayed my secret to the king."
The spectacle of the corpses, according to Tamburlaine, serves as "A sight as baneful to their [the people of Damascus'] souls, I think, / As are Thessalian drugs or mithridate" (1 Tam, 5.1.132-33).