col·​chi·​cum | \ ˈkäl-chi-kəm How to pronounce colchicum (audio) , ˈkäl-ki- \

Definition of colchicum

1 : any of a genus (Colchicum) of Old World corm-producing herbs of the lily family with flowers that resemble crocuses
2 : the dried corm or dried seeds of autumn crocus containing colchicine, possessing emetic, diuretic, and cathartic action, and used to treat gout

First Known Use of colchicum

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for colchicum

New Latin, genus name, from Latin, a kind of plant with a poisonous root, from Greek kolchikon, literally, product of Colchis

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The first known use of colchicum was in 1597

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Cite this Entry

“Colchicum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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col·​chi·​cum | \ -kəm How to pronounce colchicum (audio) \

Medical Definition of colchicum

1 capitalized : a genus of chiefly fall-blooming Old World corm-producing herbs (family Liliaceae) that produce flowers resembling crocuses
2 : a bulb, flower, or plant (as the autumn crocus) of the genus Colchicum
3 : the dried corm or dried ripe seeds of the autumn crocus containing the alkaloid colchicine, possessing an emetic, diuretic, and cathartic action, and used to treat gout

called also colchicum root

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