Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DRUGS, MEDICINES

Date: 1700-1800
Origin: Probably from castor 'substance obtained from part of a beaver's body, used in medicines and perfumes' (16-19 centuries), from castor 'beaver' (14-19 centuries), from Latin, from Greek kastor; because castor oil was once used instead of castor in medicines

castor oil

noun
     
castor oil [uncountable]
MD a thick oil made from the seeds of a plant and used in the past as a medicine to make the bowels empty
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