Ancient GreekEdit


Unclear etymology, Pokorny (1959) connects the Greek root φαρ- of φαρόω "to plough", φάρυγξ "throat", from a PIE *bʰer- ‎(to cut, pierce, scrape) (i.e., a medicinal herb or root as something cut off or dug up), cognate with Germanic barjan, (conflated with bazjan), Latin ferio.


φάρμακον ‎(phármakonn ‎(genitive φαρμάκου)

  1. A drug, whether healing or noxious
  2. A healing drug, medicine, remedy
  3. A potion, charm, spell
  4. A deadly drug, poison
  5. A dye, color


  • pharmacon in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911