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Originally (in Middle English) any of various medicinal salves formerly used as antidotes to poisons or venomous bites; the word comes via Old French and Latin from Greek thēriakē ‘antidote against venom’, ultimately from thērion ‘wild beast’. The current sense of uncrystallized syrup dates from the late 17th century.

Treacle Bible another name for the Bishops' Bible, in which Jeremiah 8:22 reads ‘Is there no tryacle in Gilead?’ where the Authorized Version has ‘balm’.

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