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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Menstruum \Men"stru*um\, n.; pl. E. Menstruums, L. Menstrua. Any substance which dissolves a solid body; a solvent.

The proper menstruum to dissolve metal.

All liquors are called menstruums which are used as dissolvents, or to extract the virtues of ingredients by infusion or decoction.

Note: The use is supposed to have originated in some notion of the old chemists about the influence of the moon in the preparation of dissolvents.


n. Any solvent used for extracting medicinal compounds from plants etc.

  1. n. (archaic) a solvent

  2. the monthly discharge of blood from the uterus of nonpregnant women from puberty to menopause; "the women were sickly and subject to excessive menstruation"; "a woman does not take the gout unless her menses be stopped"--Hippocrates; "the semen begins to appear in males and to be emitted at the same time of life that the catamenia begin to flow in females"--Aristotle [syn: menstruation, menses, catamenia, period, flow]

  3. [also: menstrua (pl)]

Usage examples of "menstruum".

Motes of the menstruum, turning like dust in a sunbeam, dropped from her lashes and evaporated inches from his face.

The menstruum, that stream of bright darkness which was the blood of her subtle body, spilled from her nostrils.

Even now, with the menstruum probing the seals of her brain, she was preparing a final and absolute defence.

Her joints began to jitter as the menstruum ran from her, and in her skull that alien song rose like a dozen sirens.

Jerichau cried out again, and in response, the menstruum, bright to blinding, brimmed in her subtle body.

He began towards them, but the menstruum threw a ghost-wave towards him which caught him up and washed him out into the street.

Cal, but she too grasped, albeit vaguely, the notion of the circuit that ran through her, the menstruum, the carpet, him, the gaze, and back to her again.

Presumably the menstruum had intervened on her behalf, though she had not consciously willed it to do so.

She would have the menstruum carry her up above the river before they reached her.

And she knew too, with some prophetic sense the menstruum had undammed in her, that even if they escaped him now, the pursuit would not stop here.

And the less anxious she became, the more the menstruum showed its worth.

She looked towards the door, and for a sickening moment she thought the menstruum had been too late with its warning, for she saw the door open and there was Hobart, staring straight at her.

And again the menstruum was with her, a body of will and light that made possible in minutes what should have taken hours.

Cal, or even poor Jerichau: she had the menstruum as a touchstone of the miraculous.

She was about to dig for the menstruum, but the silhouette was approaching her, with something in its hand.