Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: spurge
Pronunciation: /spərj

Definition of spurge in English:


A herbaceous plant or shrub with milky latex and very small typically greenish flowers. Many kinds are cultivated as ornamentals and some are of commercial importance.
  • Genus Euphorbia, family Euphorbiaceae: numerous species
Example sentences
  • ‘Wortflower’ and ‘wortgrass’ were local names for buttercup and petty spurge, plants that were believed to cure warts.
  • Mrs. Robb's spurge is a delightful evergreen perennial that will flourish in deep dry shade.
  • Leafy spurge, for example, is not a problematic weed in its Eurasian homeland.


late Middle English: shortening of Old French espurge, from espurgier, from Latin expurgare 'cleanse' (because of the purgative properties of the milky latex).

Definition of spurge in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
greater than others in power or influence