devil's bit

noun

Definition of devil's bit

  1. :  any of various plants with premorse rootstocks: a less commonly devil's bit scabious :  scabious 1; especially :  a common purple or white flowered scabious (Scabiosa succisa or Succisa pratensis) that is native to Europe but naturalized in eastern North America and that yields a blue dye from the leaves — compare woad b :  any of several New World blazing stars (such as Chamaelirium luteum, Liatris spicata, or Aletris farinosa) — compare button snakeroot, colicroot

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Origin and Etymology of devil's bit

Middle English develesbite (translation of Medieval Latin morsus diaboli), from develes (genitive of devel devil) + bite, bitt bit, bite — more at bit


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