Definition of loosestrife in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈluːsˌstrʌɪf/


Any of a number of tall plants which bear upright spikes of flowers and grow by water and in wet ground:
  • Several plants of the genus Lythrum (family Lythraceae), in particular the purple loosestrife (L. salicaria) of the Old World. Several plants of the genus Lysimachia (family Primulaceae), in particular the yellow loosestrife (L. vulgaris) of Eurasia..
Example sentences
  • Purple loosestrife can grow to 3-9 feet tall with several, square stalks per plant.
  • Wildflowers here include water parsnip, fringed loosestrife, and hedge nettle.
  • Purple loosestrife will grow vigorously and clog irrigation canals, ditches, stream banks and reservoirs, resulting in less water available for crop production and recreation.


Mid 16th century: from loose + strife, taking the Greek name lusimakheion (actually from Lusimakhos, the name of its discoverer) to be directly from luein 'undo' + makhē 'battle'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: loose|strife

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