- a calculus or concretion found in the stomach or intestines of certain animals, especially ruminants, formerly reputed to be an effective remedy for poison.
- Obsolete. a counterpoison or antidote.
- a hard mass, such as a stone or hairball, in the stomach and intestines of animals, esp ruminants, and man: formerly thought to be an antidote to poisons
late 15c., ultimately from Arabic bazahr, from Persian pad-zahr “counter-poison,” from pad “protecting, guardian, master” (from Iranian *patar-, cf. Avestan patar-, from PIE *pa-tor-, from root *pa- “to protect, feed”) + zahr “poison” (from Old Iranian *jathra, from PIE *gwhn-tro-, from root *gwhen- “to strike, kill;” see bane). Originally “antidote,” later specifically in reference to a concoction from solid matter found in the stomachs and intestines of ruminants, which was held to have antidotal qualities (1570s).
- A hard indigestible mass of material, such as hair, vegetable fibers, or the seeds and skins of fruits, formed in the alimentary canal.