October 6th, 2012


Catholicon Definition and Examples

catholicon \kuh-THOL-i-kuhn\, noun:

A universal remedy; panacea.

And then they sweep out again, leaving the fevered peasants their catholicon of faith, while, overhead, vultures ebonize the sky.
        -- Thomas H. Cook, The Orchids

At any rate, this same humor has something, there is no telling what, of beneficence in it, it is such a catholicon and charm—nearly all men agreeing in relishing it, though they may agree in little else—and in its way it undeniably does such a deal of familiar good in the world, that no wonder it is almost a proverb, that a man of humor, a man capable of a good loud laugh—seem how he may in other things—can hardly be a heartless scamp.
        -- Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man

Catholicon stems from the Greek word katholikós