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curare

[kyoo-rahr-ee, koo-] /kyʊˈrɑr i, kʊ-/
noun
1.
a blackish, resinlike substance derived from tropical plants of the genus Strychnos, especially S. toxifera, and from the root of pareira, used by certain South American Indians for poisoning arrows and employed in physiological experiments, medicine, etc., for arresting the action of motor nerves.
2.
a plant yielding this substance.
Also, curari.
Origin
1770-1780
1770-80; < Portuguese < Carib kurari
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for curare

curare

/kjʊˈrɑːrɪ/
noun
1.
black resin obtained from certain tropical South American trees, esp Chondrodendron tomentosum, acting on the motor nerves to cause muscular paralysis: used medicinally as a muscle relaxant and by South American Indians as an arrow poison
2.
any of various trees of the genera Chondrodendron (family Menispermaceae) and Strychnos (family Loganiaceae) from which this resin is obtained
Word Origin
C18: from Portuguese and Spanish, from Carib kurari
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for curare
n.

1777, from Portuguese or Spanish curare, a corruption of the name in the Carib language of the Macusi Indians of Guyana, wurali or wurari, which had a sort of click sound at the beginning, and is said to mean "he to whom it comes falls."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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curare in Medicine

curare cu·ra·re or cu·ra·ri (ku-rä'rē, kyu-)
n.

  1. An extract obtained from several tropical American woody plants, especially Chondrodendron tomentosum, used as an arrow poison by some Indian peoples of South America.

  2. A purified preparation or alkaloid obtained from Chondrodendron tomentosum, used to relax skeletal muscles.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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curare in Science
curare
  (k-rä'rē, ky-)   
  1. A dark, resinous extract obtained from several tropical American woody plants, especially Chondrodendron tomentosum or certain species of Strychnos, used as an arrow poison by some Indian peoples of South America.

  2. A purified preparation of an alkaloid obtained from Chondrodendron tomentosum, used in medicine and surgery to relax skeletal muscles.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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