Definition of ipecacuanha in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌɪpɪkakjʊˈanə/


[mass noun]
1The dried rhizome of a South American shrub, or a drug prepared from this, used as an emetic and expectorant.
Example sentences
  • Doctors resorted to medications that purged the poison from the body - mercury laxatives, calomel, and emetics such as ipecacuanha.
  • Expectorants for example guaiphenesin, ammonium chloride, squill, sodium citrate and ipecacuanha may help chesty coughs.
  • Eight understory species clustered together, but two understory species, P. emetica and P. ipecacuanha, both with unusually high root: shoot ratios, were positioned far from the centroid for understory species.
2The shrub that produces ipecacuanha, native to Brazil and cultivated elsewhere.
  • Cephaelis ipecacuanha, family Rubiaceae.
2.1Used in names of other plants with similar uses to ipecacuanha, e.g. American ipecacuanha.


Early 17th century: from Portuguese, from Tupi-Guarani ipekaaguéne 'emetic creeper', from ipe 'small' + kaa 'leaves' + guéne 'vomit'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ipe|cacu|anha

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