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


cataplasm (plural cataplasms)

  1. (medicine) A plaster or poultice, spread over one's skin as medical treatment.
    Synonym: poultice
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition II, section 5, member 3, subsection ii:
      Aretæus prescribes cataplasms of camomile flowers, fennel, aniseeds, cummin, rosemary, wormwood leaves, etc.
    • 1676, Richard Wiseman, “The First Book. A Treatise of Tumours. Chapter XVIII. Of an Oedema.”, in Severall Chirurgicall Treatises, London: [] E. Flesher and J. Macock, for R[ichard] Royston [], and B[enjamin] Took, [], →OCLC, page 89:
      The Lips of the Abſceſs digeſted vvell, but from vvithin it onely gleeted, and thruſt out Fat, vvhich vve daily cut off vvithout the loſs of a drop of blood, and dreſſed up the Abſceſs vvith mundif. ex apio, continuing the uſe of diſcutient Fomentations and Cataplaſms.
    • 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.