Samphire definition

sămfīr
An edible coastal plant (Crithmum maritimum) in the parsley family, native to Eurasia, having fleshy compound leaves and small white flowers grouped in compound umbels, and sometimes pickled.
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A fleshy, Old World seashore plant (Crithmum maritimum) of the umbel family, with cut leaves and small clusters of yellowish flowers.
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One of several salt-tolerant plants, some edible.
  • The marsh samphire, glasswort, genus Salicornia, a plant once burned to produce ash used to make soda glass.
  • The rock samphire, Crithmum maritimum.
  • The golden samphire, Inula crithmoides.
  • Borrichia arborescens of the West Indies.
  • Plants of genus Sarcocornia.
  • Plants of genus Tecticornia.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
samphire
Plural:
samphires

Origin of samphire

  • Alteration of Early Modern English sampiere the plant C. maritimum from French (herbe de) Saint Pierre (herb of) Saint Peter after Saint Pierre Saint Peter, a patron saint of fisherman (the plant being so called because it grows on rocks near the sea, the name perhaps also being influenced by French pierre rock)

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

  • Originally sampiere, from French Saint Pierre, the patron saint of fishermen who often harvested the plant.

    From Wiktionary