a bad-smelling gum resin obtained from various Asian plants (genus Ferula) of the umbel family: it was formerly used to treat some illnesses or, in folk medicine, to repel disease
Origin of asafetidaMiddle English ; from Medieval Latin asa (; from Persian ?z?, gum) + Classical Latin foetida, feminine of foetidus, fetid
- Any of several plants of the genus Ferula in the parsley family, native to dry regions in Iran and Afghanistan and having long, sturdy, hollow stems and roots yielding a brownish, strong-smelling resin.
- The resin obtained from these plants, especially from the species Ferula assa-foetida, used as an ingredient in medicine and remedies and as a seasoning in South Asian cuisine.
Origin of asafetidaMiddle English, from Medieval Latin asaf&emacron;tida : asa, gum (from Persian aza, mastic) + Latin foetida, feminine of foetidus, stinking; see fetid.
- Alternative spelling of asafoetida.