pokeweed

noun

poke·​weed ˈpōk-ˌwēd How to pronounce pokeweed (audio)
: a poisonous American perennial herb (Phytolacca americana of the family Phytolaccaceae, the pokeweed family) with racemose white flowers, dark purple juicy berries, and young shoots sometimes used as potherbs

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web And his recipes are all intriguing – biscuits and tea cakes to feasts showcasing pigs feet, cracklins, and pokeweed. Monitor Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Apr. 2018 Songs have been written extolling pokeweed’s virtues. Dave Taft, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

1751, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pokeweed was in 1751

Dictionary Entries Near pokeweed

Cite this Entry

“Pokeweed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pokeweed. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

pokeweed

noun

poke·​weed ˈpō-ˌkwēd How to pronounce pokeweed (audio)
: an American herb with spikes of white flowers, dark purple juicy berries, a poisonous root, and young shoots sometimes used as greens

Medical Definition

pokeweed

noun

poke·​weed ˈpō-ˌkwēd How to pronounce pokeweed (audio)
: a poisonous American perennial herb (Phytolacca americana of the family Phytolaccaceae, the pokeweed family) that has stalks of white flowers, dark purple juicy berries, and a root from which is obtained a mitogen that has been used to stimulate lymphocyte proliferation

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