sar·​sa·​pa·​ril·​la | \ˌsa-spə-ˈri-lə, 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

That must have been sarsaparilla in those to-go cups on my recent crawl. Anne Burke, San Francisco Chronicle, "Five wackiest ways to get around Las Vegas," 2 May 2018 Gold Rush Days has historically incorporated nuggets of life in the 1850s such as homemade sarsaparilla, gold panning and buying products from blacksmiths' shops, as well as modern amenities such as a pub crawl. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Gold Rush Days canceled in 2018. When will it return? | The Sacramento Bee," 1 Mar. 2018 The gin is a balanced blend of botanicals—including cardamom, coriander, French lavender, anise seed, sarsaparilla, juniper, and two kinds of orange peel—with a more subtle juniper flavor. Sarah Rense, Esquire, "Ryan Reynolds Is Now Part Owner of Aviation Gin. Here's What You Should Know About the Brand.," 21 Feb. 2018 The 12-ounce bottles, sold in packs of four, are available in black cherry, draft-style birch beer, old-fashioned sarsaparilla, and frosty cream. Allison Steele,, "Pa. soda in vintage bottles, and made from cane sugar," 15 Jan. 2018 The drink, available through January in honor of the show’s San Diego debut, is made with Henessey cognac, Monkey Shoulder blended scotch, coffee liqueur, sarsaparilla bitters and garnished with a faux $10 bill. Carolina Gusman,, "Buzz-worthy event sets coffee lovers in search of region’s best cup of joe," 10 Jan. 2018 Not sure which wine to pair with Jamie’s smoky pimiento cheese sandwiches or Bobby’s sarsaparilla basted ham? Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Paula Deen’s Sons Are Getting Into The Wine Business," 12 June 2017 Not sure which wine to pair with Jamie’s smoky pimiento cheese sandwiches or Bobby’s sarsaparilla basted ham? Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Paula Deen’s Sons Are Getting Into The Wine Business," 17 June 2017 Try your hand at roping and riding, or saddle on up to the Painted Pony Saloon for a cold sarsaparilla. Carolina Gusman,, "It's all about the West at this year's San Diego County Fair," 31 May 2017

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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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, 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, ˌsärs-, -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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sarsaparilla

Spanish Central: Translation of sarsaparilla

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

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