Definition of sarsaparilla
1a : any of various tropical American greenbriersb : 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
Recent Examples of sarsaparilla from the Web
Not sure which wine to pair with Jamie’s smoky pimiento cheese sandwiches or Bobby’s sarsaparilla basted ham?
Try your hand at roping and riding, or saddle on up to the Painted Pony Saloon for a cold sarsaparilla.
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.
Origin and Etymology of sarsaparilla
Spanish zarzaparrilla, from zarza bush + parrilla, diminutive of parra vine
First Known Use: 1577See Words from the same year
SARSAPARILLA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sarsaparilla for English Language Learners
: a sweetened drink that is flavored with a substance made from the root of a plant
SARSAPARILLA Defined for Kids
Definition of sarsaparilla for Students
: a sweetened carbonated beverage that tastes somewhat like root beer
Medical Definition of sarsaparilla
1a: any of various tropical American plants of the genus Smilaxb: 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 syphilisb: the roots of wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) used similarly
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