worm·​wood | \ ˈwərm-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce wormwood (audio) \

Definition of wormwood

1 : artemisia especially : a European plant (Artemisia absinthium) that has silvery silky-haired leaves and drooping yellow flower heads and yields a bitter dark green oil used in absinthe
2 : something bitter or grievous : bitterness

Examples of wormwood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Artemisia annua, or sweet wormwood, a plant that belongs to the daisy family and whose extract is a standard treatment for malaria, is gathering attention among African politicians and some... Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Another Malaria Cure Draws Notice in Coronavirus Outbreak, This Time in Africa," 12 May 2020 The remedy, which contains the Artemisia annua (Sweet wormwood) plant often used to treat malaria is being ordered by Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Congo-Brazzaville. Daniel Ekonde, Quartz Africa, "The challenge with African countries promoting traditional cures for Covid-19 without research," 5 May 2020 Artemisinin is derived from sweet wormwood, a plant used in traditional Chinese remedies. Time, "100 Women of the Year," 5 Mar. 2020 Tu, who studied traditional Chinese and herbal medicines, found a reference in ancient medical texts to using sweet wormwood to treat intermittent fevers -- a symptom of malaria. Lauren Kent, CNN, "The heroines STEM: Ten women in science you should know," 28 Jan. 2020 Snowball Old-Fashioned: Caramelized pecan bourbon, spiced molasses syrup and wormwood bitters. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Miracle, a Christmas pop-up bar, bringing cocktails, ugly sweaters to downtown Fort Lauderdale," 14 Oct. 2019 One way for producers to adapt is to derive their products into Western chemical forms, like Tu Youyou did with sweet wormwood. Washington Post, "Is China’s Old Pharma Too Complex to Simplify?," 4 Sep. 2019 Sanders also ponders the question of why gardeners are continually beseeched by websites to use lava rocks, wormwood tea, and quackgrass cakes to repel slugs when a simple dose of iron phosphate will do the job quickly and safely. Steve Smith, courant.com, "’Gardening Is Murder’ Talk On Sept. 12," 26 Aug. 2019 The financial disasters of Europe and the Americas in the 1920s and 1930s seemed to show that the West was wormwood. K.n.c., The Economist, "The radical politics of futurists and fascists—and us, here, today," 19 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wormwood.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wormwood

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wormwood

Middle English wormwode, folk-etymological alteration of warmode, wermod, going back to Old English wermōd, going back to West Germanic *wermōda- (whence Old Saxon wermōda, Old High German wermuota), perhaps going back to a derivative of a base *wermo- "bitter," dissimilated from dialectal Indo-European *(s)u̯eru̯o- (whence Welsh chwerw "bitter," Old Irish serb)

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Time Traveler for wormwood

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The first known use of wormwood was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Wormwood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wormwood. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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How to pronounce wormwood (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wormwood

: a plant that has a bitter taste


worm·​wood | \ ˈwərm-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce wormwood (audio) \

Medical Definition of wormwood

: artemisia sense 2 especially : a European plant (Artemisia absinthium) yielding a bitter slightly aromatic dark green oil used in absinthe

More from Merriam-Webster on wormwood

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wormwood

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