vervain

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noun ver·vain \ˈvər-ˌvān\

Definition of vervain

  1. :  any of a genus (Verbena of the family Verbenaceae, the vervain family) of chiefly American plants having bracted spicate flowers, a corolla with a 5-lobed limb, and a fruit that separates into four nutlets

Origin and Etymology of vervain

Middle English verveine “the plant Verbena officinalis,” borrowed from Anglo-French vervenne, verveyne, going back to Latin verbēna “leafy branch used ceremonially or medicinally,” going back to *verbes-na, derivative of an s-stem noun *verbes-, whence Latin verbera (plural) “bundle of sticks used for flogging, blows”; akin to Croatian & Serbian vŕba “willow,” Lithuanian virbas “twig, rod”


First Known Use: 14th century


Medical Dictionary

vervain

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noun ver·vain \ˈvər-ˌvān\

Medical Definition of vervain

  1. :  any of a genus (Verbena of the family Verbenaceae, the vervain family) of plants including several (as V. hastata) formerly used as medicinal herbs

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