sar·​sa·​pa·​ril·​la | \ ˌsa-spə-ˈri-lə How to pronounce sarsaparilla (audio) , ˌsär-, -ˈre-; ˌsa-sə-pə-, ˌsär-sə-pə- \

Definition of sarsaparilla

1a : any of various tropical American greenbriers
b : the dried roots of a sarsaparilla used especially as a flavoring
2 : any of various plants (such as wild sarsaparilla) that resemble or are used as a substitute for sarsaparilla
3 : a sweetened carbonated beverage flavored with sassafras and oil distilled from a European birch

Examples of sarsaparilla in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The finish comes on in a wave that includes spice, sarsaparilla, and black cherries, all of it turning a bit darker and more savory while still remaining juicy and giving. Brian Freedman, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Think boysenberry jam accented with rosemary, wild sage and sarsaparilla. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 Visitors can enjoy a sarsaparilla at the Long Branch Saloon or shop for handmade soap and homemade fudge at the Rath & Co. General Store. Michael Holtz, The Atlantic, 14 June 2021 The currants, cherries, and brambly berries fan out on the palate, flashing with notes of sweet cigar tobacco, chocolate, cafe mocha, black cherries, lifted hints of fenugreek, licorice, and sarsaparilla. Brian Freedman, Forbes, 3 June 2021 The girl, named Edith Fuller, defeats 52 other children at the regional contest, spelling such challenging words as jnana, sarsaparilla and Baedeker. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 25 May 2021 Paul Gasford got lost hunting for sarsaparilla on the shore of Lake Ontario in 1805. Jon T. Coleman, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Aug. 2020 The Root of All Beers, please, which mixes a licorice-and-sarsaparilla witch’s brew with rye, vermouth, and honey. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 10 Jan. 2020 Shane’ when Alan Ladd stepped up to the bar and ordered a sarsaparilla, and what happened next. Bulletin Board, Twin Cities, 13 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of sarsaparilla

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sarsaparilla

Spanish zarzaparrilla, from zarza bush + parrilla, diminutive of parra vine

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The first known use of sarsaparilla was in 1577

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sarsaparilla.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for sarsaparilla



English Language Learners Definition of sarsaparilla

: a sweetened drink that is flavored with a substance made from the root of a plant


sar·​sa·​pa·​ril·​la | \ ˌsa-spə-ˈri-lə How to pronounce sarsaparilla (audio) , ˌsär- \

Kids Definition of sarsaparilla

: a sweetened carbonated beverage that tastes somewhat like root beer


sar·​sa·​pa·​ril·​la | \ ˌsas-(ə-)pə-ˈril-ə How to pronounce sarsaparilla (audio) , ˌsärs- How to pronounce sarsaparilla (audio) , -ˈrel- \

Medical Definition of sarsaparilla

1a : any of various tropical American plants of the genus Smilax
b : any of various plants (as wild sarsaparilla, Aralia nudicaulis) that resemble or are used as a substitute for the sarsaparillas
2a : the dried roots of any of several sarsaparillas of the genus Smilax (especially S. aristolochiaefolia, S. febrifuga, and S. regelii) used now especially as a flavoring and formerly for the diaphoretic, expectorant, and laxative effects of the saponins found in them and without curative effect in the treatment of syphilis
b : the roots of wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) used similarly

More from Merriam-Webster on sarsaparilla

Nglish: Translation of sarsaparilla for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sarsaparilla


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