Etymology
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poultice (n.)

soft and usually warm mass of meal, etc., and herbs, applied to sores or inflammations on the body," a 17c. alteration of Middle English pultes (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin pultes, ultimately from Latin pultes, plural of puls "porridge" (see pulse (n.2)). The modern form in English predominated from mid-18c.

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foment (v.)
early 15c., "apply hot liquids," from Old French fomenter "apply hot compress (to a wound)" (13c.), from Late Latin fomentare, from Latin fomentum "warm application, poultice," contraction of *fovimentum, from fovere "to warm; cherish, encourage" (see fever). Extended sense of "stimulate, instigate" (1620s), on the notion of "encourage the growth of," as if by heat, probably was taken from French. Related: Fomented; fomenting.
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attract (v.)
early 15c., "draw (objects or persons) to oneself," also a medical term for the body's tendency to absorb fluids, nourishment, etc., or for a poultice treatment to "draw out" diseased matter; from Latin attractus, past participle of attrahere "to draw, pull; to attract," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Of physical forces (magnets, etc.), from 17c. Figurative sense of "be attractive, draw to oneself the eyes or attentions of others" is from 1690s. Related: Attracted; attracting.
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amalgam (n.)
c. 1400, "a blend of mercury with another metal; soft mass formed by chemical manipulation," from Old French amalgame or directly from Medieval Latin amalgama, "alloy of mercury (especially with gold or silver)," c. 1300, an alchemists' word, probably from Arabic al-malgham "an emollient poultice or unguent for sores (especially warm)" [Francis Johnson, "A Dictionary of Persian, Arabic, and English"], which is itself perhaps from Greek malagma "softening substance," from malassein "to soften," from malakos "soft" (from PIE *meldh-, from root *mel- (1) "soft"). Figurative meaning "compound of different things" is from 1790.
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