wormwood

See also: Wormwood

EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English wormwode, a folk etymology (as if worm +‎ wood) of wermode (wormwood), from Old English wermōd, wormōd (wormwood, absinthe), from Proto-West Germanic *warjamōdā (wormwood). Cognate with Middle Low German wermode, wermede (wormwood), German Wermut (wormwood). Doublet of vermouth.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

wormwood (countable and uncountable, plural wormwoods)

  1. An intensely bitter herb (Artemisia absinthium and similar plants in genus Artemisia) used in medicine, in the production of absinthe and vermouth, and as a tonic.
    Synonyms: grande wormwood, absinthe, mugwort, artemisia
  2. (figuratively) Something that causes bitterness or affliction; a cause of mortification or vexation.
    • 1789, John Moore, Zeluco, Valancourt 2008, p. 57:
      The irony of this reply was wormwood to Zeluco; he fell into a gloomy fit of musing, and made no farther inquiry [] .

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