gentian

noun

gen·​tian ˈjen(t)-shən How to pronounce gentian (audio)
1
: any of numerous herbs (family Gentianaceae, the gentian family, and especially genus Gentiana) with opposite smooth leaves and showy usually blue flowers
2
: the rhizome and roots of a yellow-flowered gentian (Gentiana lutea) of southern Europe that is used as a tonic, stomachic, and flavoring in vermouth

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Its distinguishing feature is Aperol, a bright orange bitter Italian liqueur of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, 27 Apr. 2020 The French have bright yellow Suze and clear Salers, both gentian-based; the Germans have Jägermeister and Underberg. M. Carrie Allan, chicagotribune.com, 20 Nov. 2019 The French have bright yellow Suze and clear Salers, both gentian-based; the Germans have Jägermeister and Underberg. M. Carrie Allan, chicagotribune.com, 20 Nov. 2019 The French have bright yellow Suze and clear Salers, both gentian-based; the Germans have Jägermeister and Underberg. M. Carrie Allan, chicagotribune.com, 20 Nov. 2019 This year’s Olympic Games bouquet consists of eustoma, sunflower, gentian, narcolan and haran blossoms. Raisa Bruner, Time, 7 Feb. 2020 The French have bright yellow Suze and clear Salers, both gentian-based; the Germans have Jägermeister and Underberg. M. Carrie Allan, chicagotribune.com, 20 Nov. 2019 The French have bright yellow Suze and clear Salers, both gentian-based; the Germans have Jägermeister and Underberg. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2019 Other, lower-living species—showy gentians, a spiky aster relative called Chuquiraga, purple lupines—had moved upslope by an average of more than 500 meters since 1802. Tim Appenzeller, Science | AAAS, 11 Sep. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gentian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English gencian, from Anglo-French genciane, from Latin gentiana

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gentian was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near gentian

Cite this Entry

“Gentian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gentian. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

gentian

noun
gen·​tian ˈjen-chən How to pronounce gentian (audio)
: any of various herbs with smooth leaves and showy bell-shaped or funnel-shaped usually blue flowers

Medical Definition

gentian

noun
gen·​tian ˈjen-chən How to pronounce gentian (audio)
1
: any of two genera (Gentiana and Dasystephana) of herbs belonging to a family (Gentianaceae, the gentian family) and having opposite smooth leaves and showy usually blue flowers
2
: the rhizome and roots of a yellow-flowered gentian (Gentiana lutea) of southern Europe that is used as a tonic and stomachic

called also gentian root

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