Definition of curare
- a bitter, resinous substance obtained from the bark and stems of some South American plants. It paralyzes the motor nerves and is traditionally used by some Indian peoples to poison their arrows and blowpipe darts.
- Curare is obtained from Curarea species and Chondodendron tomentosum (family Menispermaceae), and Strychnos toxifera (family Loganiaceae)
late 18th century: from a Carib word, partly via Spanish and Portuguese