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From Latin cataplasma, from Ancient Greek κατάπλασμα (katáplasma).


cataplasm (plural cataplasms)

  1. (medicine) A poultice or plaster, spread over one's skin as medical treatment.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is. With All the Kindes, Cavses, Symptomes, Prognosticks, and Seuerall Cvres of It. In Three Maine Partitions, with Their Seuerall Sections, Members, and Svbsections. Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, by Democritvs Iunior, with a Satyricall Preface, Conducing to the Following Discourse, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , II.5.3.ii:
      Aretæus prescribes cataplasms of camomile flowers, fennel, aniseeds, cummin, rosemary, wormwood leaves, etc.
    • 1837, Thomas Green Fessenden, James Engelbert Teschemacher, Joseph Breck, The Horticultural Register and Gardener's Magazine (volume 3, page 332)
      For medical purposes, figs are chiefly used in emollient cataplasms, and pectorial decoctions.