The absinth or wormwood plant.
wormwood definition by Webster's New World
- 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 () formerly used in making absinthe
- a bitter, unpleasant, or mortifying experience
Origin: Middle English wormwode, altered by folk etymology (infl. by worm, worm plush wode, wood: from use as a vermifuge) ; from wermode ; from Old English wermod, akin to German wermut (from source French vermout, vermouth)
wormwood definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Any of several aromatic plants of the genus Artemisia, especially A. absinthium, native to Europe, yielding a bitter extract used in making absinthe and in flavoring certain wines.
- Something harsh or embittering.
Origin: Middle 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.