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sarsaparilla

Syllabification: sar·sa·pa·ril·la
Pronunciation: /ˌsärs(ə)pəˈrilə, ˌsaspə-
 
/

Definition of sarsaparilla in English:

noun

1A preparation of the dried rhizomes of various plants, especially smilax, used to flavor some drinks and medicines and formerly as a tonic.
1.1A sweet drink flavored with sarsaparilla.
Example sentences
  • The characters are relaxing, enjoying mead, grog, and various other old-timesy type drinks that no one actually drinks anymore like sarsaparilla, sherry, or wine coolers.
  • There was the festival's customary unlimited bowling, plenty of oat sodas, sarsaparillas and White Russians.
  • And he had a reputation of being a bit of a dandy in college, because, you know, he'd have a glass of sarsaparilla.
2The tropical American climbing plant from which sarsaparilla are generally obtained.
  • Genus Smilax, family Liliaceae: several species, in particular S. regelii, which is the chief source of commercial sarsaparilla
Example sentences
  • Among the wildflowers are a red columbine, aster, figwort, wild sarsaparilla, fleabane, and avens.
  • The seeds of bristly sarsaparilla, currant, and soapberry lie dormant in the soil and germinate only after being burned; ecologists call the process ‘seed banking.’
  • China-root came from an Asian plant related to sarsaparilla.

Origin

late 16th century: from Spanish zarzaparilla, from zarza 'bramble' + a diminutive of parra 'vine'.

Definition of sarsaparilla in:

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