Definition of gentian in English:


Line breaks: gen|tian
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛnʃ(ə)n


1A plant of temperate and mountainous regions, which typically has violet or vivid blue trumpet-shaped flowers. Many kinds are cultivated as ornamentals, especially as arctic alpines, and some are of medicinal use.
  • Family Gentianaceae: genera Gentiana and Gentianella
More example sentences
  • As we climb, the maze of trees, ferns, and blueberry bushes gives way to subalpine meadows painted with purple lupine, pale blue gentians, crimson columbine, and yellow arnica.
  • It's a surprisingly verdant mountain - spared by the last glaciation - where rhododendrons, gentians and rare orchids bloom.
  • While bamboo stalks and roots make up about 95 percent of its diet, the giant panda also feeds on gentians, irises, crocuses, fish, and occasionally small rodents.
1.1 [mass noun] A tonic liquid substance formerly extracted from the root of the gentian.
More example sentences
  • In Western herbal medicine barberry root and gentian are used as bitter tonics to aid digestion.


late Middle English: from Latin gentiana, according to Pliny named after Gentius, king of Illyria, who is said to have discovered the medicinal properties of a common species.

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