lignum vitae

noun lig·num vi·tae \ ˌlig-nəm-ˈvī-tē \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of lignum vitae

plural lignum vitaes
1 :the very hard heavy wood of any of several tropical American guaiacums
2 :a tree yielding lignum vitae

Recent Examples of lignum vitae from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of lignum vitae

New Latin, literally, wood of life


Medical Dictionary

lignum vitae

noun lig·num vi·tae \ ˌlig-nəm-ˈvīt-ē \

medical Definition of lignum vitae

plural lignum vitaes
1 :any of several tropical American trees of the genus Guaiacum with very hard heavy wood; especially :either of two (G. officinale or G. sanctum) that are sources of guaiacum resin
2 :the wood of a lignum vitae

Learn More about lignum vitae


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up lignum vitae? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!