turnsole

noun turn·sole \ˈtərnˌsōl\

Definition of turnsole

plural

-s

  1. 1 :  any of several plants whose flowers or stems are supposed to follow the movement of the sun: a :  heliotrope 1b b :  sunflower c :  sun spurge d :  a double-flowered tulip (Tulipa suaveolens) of southern Russia

  2. 2 :  a European annual herb (Chrozophora tinctoria) of the family Euphorbiaceae the juice of which is turned blue by ammonia

  3. 3a :  a purple dye obtained from the turnsole (see turnsole 2) b :  litmus

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Origin and Etymology of turnsole

Middle English turnesole, from Middle French tournesol, from Old Italian tornasole, from tornare to turn (from Medieval Latin) + sole sun, from Latin sol (accusative solem) — more at turn, solar


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