wormwood

play
noun worm·wood \ˈwərm-ˌwu̇d\

Definition of wormwood

  1. 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. 2 :  something bitter or grievous :  bitterness

Recent Examples of wormwood from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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)


WORMWOOD Defined for English Language Learners

wormwood

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noun

Definition of wormwood for English Language Learners

  • : a plant that has a bitter taste


Medical Dictionary

wormwood

play
noun worm·wood \ˈwərm-ˌwu̇d\

Medical Definition of wormwood

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


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