Quassia meaning

kwŏshə
A bitter substance obtained from the wood of this plant or related plants in the family Simaroubaceae, used in medicine and formerly as an insecticide.
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Any of a genus (Quassia) of shrubs and trees of the quassia family.
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The wood of either of two tropical trees (Picrasma excela or Quassia amara) of the quassia family, used in making furniture.
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A bitter drug extracted from this wood, used in insecticides and, formerly, in medicine.
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Designating a family (Simaroubaceae, order Sapindales) of tropical American dicotyledonous shrubs and trees having alternate pinnate leaves, including ailanthus.
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Any of several tropic trees, of the genus Quassia, having scarlet flowers.
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The bitter substance quassin extracted from its bark.
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Origin of quassia

  • New Latin after Gramman Quassi (“Great Man” Kwasi), an 18th-century Guinean who, after being enslaved and transported to Suriname, became renowned as a healer, especially by prescribing quassia for fever, and whose success eventually allowed him to purchase his freedom

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition