dief·​fen·​bach·​ia ˌdē-fən-ˈba-kē-ə How to pronounce dieffenbachia (audio)
-ˈbä- How to pronounce dieffenbachia (audio)
: any of a genus (Dieffenbachia) of erect poisonous tropical American plants of the arum family having usually variegated leaves and often grown as houseplants

Examples of dieffenbachia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The dieffenbachia plant is proof that developing a green thumb can fit comfortably within your busy, always-on-the-go lifestyle. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, 3 May 2022 Many common indoor houseplants, including pothos and dieffenbachia, contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause mouth pain and stomach upset. Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2020

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

Word History


New Latin, from Ernst Dieffenbach †1855 German naturalist

First Known Use

circa 1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dieffenbachia was circa 1900

Dictionary Entries Near dieffenbachia

Cite this Entry

“Dieffenbachia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dieffenbachia. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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