witch hazel

noun

witch ha·​zel ˈwich-ˌhā-zəl How to pronounce witch hazel (audio)
1
: any of a genus (Hamamelis of the family Hamamelidaceae, the witch-hazel family) of shrubs or small trees with slender-petaled usually yellow flowers borne in late fall or early spring
especially : one (H. virginiana) of eastern North America that blooms in the fall
2
: an alcoholic solution of a distillate of the bark of a witch hazel (H. virginiana) used as a soothing and mildly astringent lotion

Examples of witch hazel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, rosehip oil, botanical extracts Best for Acne-Prone Skin The Inkey List Glycolic Acid Toner Pros The toner features witch hazel, which soothes irritation and reduces redness, helping to diminish the look of breakouts. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 25 Mar. 2024 And flowering plants like the witch hazel use spring actuation to launch seeds out of their fruits. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 28 Aug. 2023 That’s not the case with this alcohol-free hydrating toner, which instead uses witch hazel (a natural astringent) to regulate oil levels on the skin, as well as rosewater and aloe vera to restore hydration. Deanna Pai, Vogue, 13 Mar. 2024 Remove it with cotton balls and an astringent such as Sea Breeze or witch hazel. Tracee Cornforth, Verywell Health, 1 Mar. 2024 There was no leakage during the wear test — although because of heavy bleeding, the tester did need to wear a pad during use — but the underwear’s material never got damp despite the presence of witch hazel, body fluids, and dermoplast. Nikita Charuza, Peoplemag, 20 Feb. 2024 The clear liquid doesn’t feel greasy, thanks to the witch hazel and algae extract. Kayla Blanton, Verywell Health, 6 Dec. 2023 Papaya extract mildly exfoliates and sweeps away dead skin cells, witch hazel smooths texture, while a blend of lavender water, rose water, and orange fruit extract adds moisture. Sarah Han, Allure, 27 Nov. 2023 This nourishing, alcohol-free cleanser treats and conditions suede shoes using key, natural ingredients including organic aloe leaf, witch hazel, and castile soap to gently clean suede while replacing essential vitamins and nutrients. Alyssa Rotunno, Travel + Leisure, 17 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'witch hazel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

witch, a tree with pliant branches, from Middle English wyche, from Old English wice; probably akin to Old English wīcan to yield — more at weak

First Known Use

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of witch hazel was in 1737

Dictionary Entries Near witch hazel

Cite this Entry

“Witch hazel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witch%20hazel. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

witch hazel

noun
witch ha·​zel ˈwich-ˌhā-zəl How to pronounce witch hazel (audio)
1
: any of a genus of shrubs or small trees that produce usually yellow flowers with very thin petals in late fall or early spring
especially : one of eastern North America that blooms in the fall
2
: a soothing alcoholic lotion made from the bark of the witch hazel
Etymology

from witch, an old name for any of several trees with branches that bend easily, from Old English wice (same meaning)

Medical Definition

witch hazel

noun
witch ha·​zel ˈwich-ˌhā-zəl How to pronounce witch hazel (audio)
1
: any small tree or shrub of the genus Hamamelis
especially : one (Hamamelis virginiana) of eastern North America that blooms in the fall
2
: an alcoholic solution of a distillate of the bark of a witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) used as a soothing and mildly astringent lotion

More from Merriam-Webster on witch hazel

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