• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Cantharis kăn"thȧ*rĭs (Zoöl) A beetle (Lytta vesicatoriasyn.Cantharis vesicatoria), having an elongated cylindrical body of a brilliant green color, and a nauseous odor; the blister fly or blister beetle, of the apothecary; -- also called Spanish fly. Many other species of Lytta, used for the same purpose, take the same name. See Blister beetle, under Blister. The plural form in usually applied to the dried insects used in medicine.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cantharis A genus of coleopterous insects having the head separated from the thorax by a neck; the type of the family Cantharidæ. The best-known species is that which is called the Spanish or blistering fly, C. vesicatoria. This insect is 9 or 10 lines in length, of a shining green color mixed with azure. It has a nauseous smell, and is when bruised extensively used as the active element in vesicatory or blistering plasters. It feeds upon the leaves of trees and shrubs, preferring the ash. The flies are collected in Spain, Italy, Hungary, and southern Russia; the Russian ones are the largest and most esteemed.
    • n cantharis [lowercase; pl. cantharides (kan-thar′ i-dēz).] A member of the genus Cantharis.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., a kind of beetle, esp. the Spanish fly, Gr. kanqari`s


In literature:

Under this heading may also be mentioned the domesticated insects, the silkworm, the bee and the cantharis.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 8" by Various