\ ˈspərj How to pronounce spurge (audio) \

Definition of spurge

: any of a family (Euphorbiaceae) of widely distributed herbs, shrubs, and trees often with a bitter milky juice especially : euphorbia

Examples of spurge in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Be careful not to confuse mountain spurge with similar-looking Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), which is invasive. Leanne Potts, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Oct. 2021 Flowering spurge, a great baby’s-breath accent by itself, can turn a wonderful orange or scarlet. Miri Talabac, baltimoresun.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Readers immediately identified the culprit in several small clusters of yellow flowers over rubbery, succulent stems and leaves: Myrtle spurge. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2021 Myrtle spurge also is banned in Colorado and Oregon, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2021 The Natural History Museum had in its records from the 1980s a plant, rolled leaf spurge, that emerged after monsoonal rains on Whale Peak. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Oct. 2020 Or a basic-but-not-boring trench and a totally out-of-this-world, definition-of-spurge-worthy bag? Vogue, 14 Mar. 2019 Casting aside the holiday glow, the poinsettia is nothing but a fancy spurge with a very descriptive scientific name. Dave Taft, New York Times, 12 Dec. 2017 Mulches applied to the proper depth will help reduce problems with annual weeds that grow from seeds, such as chamberbitters, spurge, annual bluegrass and chickweed. NOLA.com, 26 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spurge.' 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 spurge

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spurge

Middle English, from Anglo-French espurge, spurge, from espurger to clean out, purge, from Latin expurgare — more at expurgate

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Time Traveler for spurge

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The first known use of spurge was in the 14th century

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spur gear

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Cite this Entry

“Spurge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spurge. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for spurge


\ ˈspərj How to pronounce spurge (audio) \

Medical Definition of spurge

: any of various mostly shrubby plants (family Euphorbiaceae, the spurge family, and especially genus Euphorbia) that have a bitter milky juice and that include several which have been used medicinally — see ipecac spurge

More from Merriam-Webster on spurge

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spurge


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