Pronounced: pro-SELL-us, adj

Notes: I don’t think I’ve run across this word

Yesterday’s word

The word mithridatism means “the developing of immunity to a poison by gradually increasing the dose”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1800s

Background / Comments

Our word is named after King Mithridates VI (king of Pontus, an area now in Turkey). He reigned from 120 BC to 63 BC. His father was poisoned, so (little wonder) he wanted to develop an immunity to poison. It is said that he succeeded by ingesting gradually increasing amounts. King Mithridates VI was defeated by Pompey; ironically (as it was said), he was afraid of being captured alive and attempted to commit suicide by taking poison — but due to his built-up immunity, it didn’t work… so he gave his sword to a servant and had the servant kill him with the sword. If you haven’t figured it out, I ran across our word when researching the entry for tachyphylaxis.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: