Word of the Day

Saturday, September 29, 2012

catholicon

\kuh-THOL-i-kuhn\ , verb;
1.
A universal remedy; panacea.
Quotes:
And then they sweep out again, leaving the fevered peasants their catholicon of faith, while, overhead, vultures ebonize the sky.
-- Thomas H. Cook, The Orchids
At any rate, this same humor has something, there is no telling what, of beneficence in it, it is such a catholicon and charm—nearly all men agreeing in relishing it, though they may agree in little else—and in its way it undeniably does such a deal of familiar good in the world, that no wonder it is almost a proverb, that a man of humor, a man capable of a good loud laugh—seem how he may in other things—can hardly be a heartless scamp.
-- Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man
Origin:
Catholicon stems from the Greek word katholikós which meant "according to the whole, universal."
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