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Ancient Greek


Unclear etymology, but most likely derived from Proto-Hellenic *p?ármakon. Cognate with Mycenaean Greek (pa-ma-ko /p?ármakon/).

Pokorny (1959) connects it to the Greek root - as in (pháros, "plough") and (phárunx, "throat"), from a Proto-Indo-European *b?er- ("to cut, pierce, scrape"), i. e., a medicinal herb or root as something cut off or dug up, cognate with Proto-Germanic *bur?n? ("to drill") - result of a conflation with *bazj? ("berry") - and Latin ferio ("hit, cut, slay, strike"). Compare furthermore Latvian burt ("to carve (marks, on a tree), to conjure magic").

A Pre-Greek etymology has been proposed by R. S. P. Beekes.




o (phármakonn (genitive ); second declension

  1. A drug, whether healing or noxious
  2. A healing drug, medicine, remedy
    • 46 CE - 120 CE, Plutarch, Moralia :
      ? ? ?.
      tôn dè tês psukhês arrh?st?mát?n kaì pathôn h? philosophía món? phármakón esti.
      but for the soul's illnesses and sufferings, the only remedy is philosophy. (@perseus.tuftus.edu)
  3. A potion, charm, spell
  4. A deadly drug, poison
  5. A dye, color


Derived terms

  • (pharmaká?)
  • (pharmakeía)
  • (pharmakeús)
  • ? (pharmakeutikós)
  • (pharmakeú?)
  • (pharmákion)
  • (pharmakís)
  • (pharmakoth?k?)
  • (pharmakoposía)
  • (pharmakop?l?s)
  • (pharmakós)
  • ? (pharmakotríb?s)
  • (pharmakó?)
  • ? (pharmak?d?s)
  • (phármaxis)
  • (pharmáss?)


  • Greek: ? (fármako)
  • -> Latin: pharmacum

Further reading

  • in Liddell & Scott (1889) An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • in Autenrieth, Georg (1891) A Homeric Dictionary for Schools and Colleges, New York: Harper and Brothers
  • in Cunliffe, Richard J. (1924) A Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect: Expanded Edition, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, published 1963
  • in Bailly, Anatole (1935) Le Grand Bailly: Dictionnaire grec-français, Paris: Hachette
  • in Liddell & Scott (1940) A Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Woodhouse, S. C. (1910) English-Greek Dictionary: A Vocabulary of the Attic Language[1], London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited.
  • in Slater, William J. (1969) Lexicon to Pindar, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter
  • Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010) Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, ->ISBN, page 1554

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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