noun \ˈspərj\

Definition of SPURGE

:  any of a family (Euphorbiaceae) of widely distributed herbs, shrubs, and trees often with a bitter milky juice; especially :  euphorbia

Origin of SPURGE

Middle English, from Anglo-French espurge, spurge, from espurger to clean out, purge, from Latin expurgare — more at expurgate
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with SPURGE


noun \ˈspərj\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SPURGE

: any of various mostly shrubby plants (family Euphorbiaceae, the spurge family, and especially genus Euphorbia) that have a bitter milky juice and that include several which have been used medicinally—see ipecac spurge


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Spurge (Euphorbia venata)—Valerie Finnis

One of the largest flowering-plant genera (Euphorbia), with more than 2,420 species. It takes its common name from a group of annual herbs used as purgatives, or spurges. Many spurges are important as ornamentals or as sources of drugs; many others are weeds. One of the best-known is the poinsettia. Euphorbia is part of the family Euphorbiaceae, which contains about 7,500 species of flowering annual and perennial herbs and woody shrubs or trees in 275 genera; most are found in temperate and tropical regions. Flowers usually lack petals; those of Euphorbia are borne in cup-shaped clusters. The fruit is a capsule. Leaves are usually simple. The stems of many species contain a milky latex. In addition to Euphorbia, economically important family members include the castor-oil plant, croton, cassava, and rubber tree.


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