\ 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 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, "Is that alligator weed? Citizen scientists help keep tabs on county’s plants, animals," 24 Oct. 2020 Or a basic-but-not-boring trench and a totally out-of-this-world, definition-of-spurge-worthy bag? Vogue, "Shop the Spring Trends Vogue Editors Want Now, From Denim Bike Shorts to Strappy Sandals," 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, "Invasion of the Holiday Houseplant," 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, "How to wage war on weeds," 26 Aug. 2017 Invasives mainly on roadsides: Cutleaf teasel, wild parsnip,spotted knapweed, phragmites, leafy spurge, Canada thistle and crown vetch. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Invasive plants to watch out for," 20 Aug. 2017 Spotted spurge thrives in nutrient-poor, dry, even sandy soil, often compacted or disturbed. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: Hornet nests and damaged kale," 3 Aug. 2017 Deltoid spurge, one of five endangered or threatened plants in pine rockland, can now only be found between in pinelands east of Everglades National Park, between Southwest 72nd and Southwest 264th streets. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "In Miami suburbs, last remnants of the world’s rarest forest endure — at least for now," 4 May 2017 The weed-control scheme is supposed to help prevent the Colorado Butterfly Plant from being choked off by Canada thistle, leafy spurge, Dalmatian toadflax, hound’s tongue and hoary cress. Nathan Hodge, WIRED, "The Missileers Who Stare at Goats," 14 Apr. 2010

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spurge

Time Traveler for spurge

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for spurge

Cite this Entry

“Spurge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spurge. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on spurge

What made you want to look up spurge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!