Solomon's seal

noun

1
: any of a genus (Polygonatum) of perennial herbs of the lily family with tubular flowers and gnarled rhizomes
2
: an emblem consisting of two interlaced triangles forming a 6-pointed star and formerly used as an amulet especially against fever compare hexagram

Illustration of Solomon's seal

Illustration of solomon's seal
  • Solomon's seal 2

Examples of Solomon's seal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That blend includes lotus, white lily, and Solomon's seal (a type of flowering plant), which cosmetic chemist Ginger King says help with moisturization, soothing, and brightening, respectively. Dianna Mazzone, Allure, 19 Feb. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Solomon's seal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

translation of Medieval Latin sigillum Salomonis, name for Polygonatum multiflorum

Note: The earliest occurrence of the phrase as a plant name in British Medieval Latin is in the Laud herbal glossary (mid-twelfth century): "cassala, i. sigillum sancte Marie, vel sigillum Salomonis, sive stelle Domini" ("cassala, that is, Holy Mary's seal, or Solomon's seal, or the Lord's stars"). Later texts also refer to Polygonatum as either "sanctae Mariae sigillum" or "sigillum Salomonis/Solomonis." Modern explanations proffered for the name—that a transverse section of the rootstock or scars on the stem resemble the impression of a seal, or that the juice of the plant would "seal" wounds—appear to be after the fact.

First Known Use

1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Solomon's seal was in 1543

Dictionary Entries Near Solomon's seal

Cite this Entry

“Solomon's seal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Solomon%27s%20seal. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

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