witch hazel

noun
witch ha·zel | \ˈwich-ˌhā-zəl \

Definition of witch hazel 

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

Soap further washes away the trail (and acts as an insecticide to boot), while witch hazel helps with the shelf life of the finished product. Allison Young, Good Housekeeping, "How To Make A DIY Ant-Killing Spray With Essential Oils," 16 Aug. 2017 With a low pH (very important), the foam-free gel formula also has stuff like licorice root, centella, witch hazel, and aloe — four cornerstones for hydration, balance, brightening, and calming. Allure Editors, Allure, "The Best New Beauty Products This Month," 9 July 2018 Each strip works for a different purpose — softening your pores, extracting the gunk, and then smoothing your skin — with a dose of witch hazel, tea tree and green tea. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "E.L.F. Is Launching Four New Sheet Masks, and We Want Them All," 11 Apr. 2018 Loropetalum is a member of the Hamamelis (witch hazel) family (Hamameliadaceae), which hail from China and the Himalayas. Earl Nickel, SFChronicle.com, "Let this ‘Purple Pixie’ bring a little color to the garden," 29 June 2018 In a 2 oz spray bottle, add 1 oz witch hazel, 1 oz distilled water and 3-4 drops EOs (tea tree, pine, balsam fir, silver fir, or a combo). Allison Young, Good Housekeeping, "6 Ways You Can Use Essential Oils To Treat And Prevent Acne Naturally," 8 Nov. 2017 What's more, the hero mist is also hugely popular among those with acne-prone skin, as its comprised of 85 percent witch hazel extract, a known blemish-fighting botanical. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Exclusive: Peach & Lily Is Bringing the Korean Skin-Care Brand Ground Plan to the U.S.," 15 May 2018 These wipe-and-toss sheets, packed with ingredients that both cleanse and revive (witch hazel, salicylic acid, cucumber extract), give your mug a midday refresh. Matt Martin, GQ, "GQ’s New Best Stuff Box Is Here to Upgrade Your Summer," 21 May 2018 Even so, her jar of witch hazel sits on the shelf above her bathroom sink, next to a bottle of pills. New York Times, "Time Is Running Out for Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Upstate Retreat," 14 May 2018

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

circa 1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for witch hazel

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about witch hazel

Share witch hazel

Statistics for witch hazel

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for witch hazel

The first known use of witch hazel was circa 1760

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for witch hazel

witch hazel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of witch hazel

: a lotion that is made from the bark of a plant and that is used to heal the skin

witch hazel

noun
witch ha·zel | \ˈwich-ˌhā-zəl \

Kids Definition of witch hazel

1 : a shrub with small yellow flowers in late fall or early spring

2 : a soothing alcoholic lotion made from the bark of the witch hazel

witch hazel

noun
witch ha·zel | \ˈwich-ˌhā-zəl \

Medical Definition of witch hazel 

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

See words that rhyme with witch hazel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about witch hazel

Comments on witch hazel

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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