nepenthe

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Back-formation from nepenthes.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nepenthe (plural nepenthes)

  1. (archaic) A drug that relieves one of emotional pain, grief or sorrow; nepenthes. [from 16th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.3:
      And in her other hand a cup she hild, / The which was with Nepenthe to the brim upfild.
    • 1845, Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven:
      "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee — by these angels he hath sent thee / Respite — respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore. Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"