- any of a number of strong-smelling plants (genus Artemisia) of the composite family, with white or yellow flowers; esp., a Eurasian perennial (A. absinthium) that yields a bitter, dark-green oil (wormwood oil) used in making absinthe
- a bitter, unpleasant, or mortifying experience
Origin of wormwoodMiddle English wormwode, altered by folk etymology (infl. by worm, worm + wode, wood: from use as a vermifuge) from wermode from Old English wermod, akin to German wermut (from source French vermout, vermouth)
- a. Any of several aromatic plants of the genus Artemisia.b. See absinthe.
- Something harsh or embittering: “Mr. Dempster could never think of his lost client without strong irritation, and the very sight of Mr. Jerome passing in the street was wormwood to him” ( George Eliot )
Origin of wormwoodMiddle English wormwode alteration ( influenced by worm worm ) ( and wode wood, perhaps from the use of its leaves as a vermifuge ) of wermod from Old English wermōd from Germanic wermōdaz