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Mid-17th century, from Ancient Greek ἰχώρ (ikhṓr).



ichor (countable and uncountable, plural ichors)

  1. the liquid that in Greek mythology was said to flow in place of blood in the veins of the gods
  2. (poetic) any bloodlike fluid
  3. a watery, fetid discharge from a sore
  4. yellow bile


  • 1720: This said, she wiped from Venus’ wounded palm / The sacred ichor, and infused the balm. — Alexander Pope, The Iliad
  • 1857: He had merely meant to express his feeling that the streams which ran through their veins were not yet purified by time to that perfection, had not become so genuine an ichor, as to be worthy of being called blood in the geneological sense. — Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, 1857
  • 1936: Wrap him for shroud in a petal. / Embalm him with ichor of nettle. — Robert Frost, 'Departmental', 1936
  • 1989: They will not live / As shades but angle forward to enjoy / The pluck of life, the pressure of their ichor. — Peter Porter, 'They Come Back More', from Possible Worlds, 1989
  • 2002: Like snow fall you cry a silent storm. / Your tears paint rivers on this oaken wall / Amber nectar / misery ichor. — Agalloch, 'You were but a ghost in my arms', from the Mantle, 2002

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