Word of the Day Archive
Saturday September 1, 2012
1. Soothing or mollifying, as a medicinal substance.
1. A demulcent substance or agent, often mucilaginous, as for soothing or protecting an irritated mucous membrane.
It will do you no harm to keep close, drink nothing but demulcent barley-water and eat gruel, thin gruel—no beef or mutton, no wine or spirits.
-- Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander
She knew where sour grass grew, which you chew for dyspepsy, and mint, excellent for the nau-shy, and the slippery elm, whose fragrant inner bark was the favorite demulcent of a hundred years ago—the thing to use for raw throat and other sore tishas.
-- James Thurber, Writings and Drawings
Demulcent comes from the Latin word dēmulcere which meant "to soften."