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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Calabar \Cal"a*bar\, n. A district on the west coast of Africa.

Calabar bean, The of a climbing legumious plant ( Physostigma venenosum), a native of tropical Africa. It is highly poisonous. It is used to produce contraction of the pupil of the eye; also in tetanus, neuralgia, and rheumatic diseases; -- called also ordeal bean, being used by the negroes in trials for witchcraft.


Calabar (also referred to as "Canaan City") is a city in Cross River State, in south southern Nigeria. The original name for Calabar was Akwa Akpa, from the Efik language. The city is adjacent to the Calabar and Great Kwa rivers and creeks of the Cross River (from its inland delta).

Calabar is the capital of Cross River State. Administratively, the city is divided into Calabar Municipal and Calabar South LGAs. It has an area of and had a population of 371,022 at the 2006 census.

Usage examples of "calabar".

It was not till the early part of the 18th century that the Efik, owing to civil war with their kindred and the Ibibio, migrated from the neighbourhood of the Niger to the shores of the river Calabar, and established themselves at Ikoritungko or Creek Town, a spot 4 m.

They have been for several generations the middle men between the white traders on the coast and the inland tribes of the Cross river and Calabar district.

From that date until 1906 Calabar was the headquarters of the European administration in the Niger delta.

Calabar was generally, and officially, known as Old Calabar, to distinguish it from New Calabar, the name of a river and port about 100 m.

They constitute the E-ser-e or ordeal beans of the negroes of Old Calabar, being administered to persons accused of witchcraft or other crimes.

The alkaloid Calabarine is, on the other hand, a stimulant of the motor and reflex functions of the cord, so that only the pure alkaloid physostigmine and not any preparation of Calabar bean itself should be used when it is desired to obtain this action.

I gave a mental twirl to the globe in the library and found Calabar on the western coast of Africa.

The glimpse I had of her other life, the house in Powder Yard, was as alien to my own at Selden as Calabar or the Americas.

I, a mere layman, could make out, Franklin was experimenting with various alkaloids derived from the Calabar bean, Physostigma venenosum.

Ah, if there were a substance that could do what is claimed for the Calabar bean!

It established the fact that death was the result of poisoning by physostigmine, and that other alkaloids of the Calabar bean were also present.

Franklin drinks the coffee full of the Calabar bean alkaloids that were meant for dear scientific John, and John Franklin drinks the nice plain cup of coffee that was meant for clever Mrs.

Her mother was a fair blonde Englishwoman, but it was Old Calabar that gave her daughter those curls of sable wool, contrasting so exquisitely with her silken-golden tresses.

But I am afraid she is only the Calabar kind, without a tail: an awantibo.

I do not think we can go much beyond Whydah, however, though in the mangrove country beyond there is Brass and Bonny and the Calabars, Old and New.