(3 syl.). A confection said to be invented by Mithridates, King of Pontus and Bithynia, as an antidote to poison. It contains seventy-two ingredients.
“What brave spirit could be content to sit in his shop ... selling Mithridatum and dragon's water to infected houses?” —Knight of the Burning Pestle. (1635.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894