Definition of woad in English:
1A yellow-flowered European plant of the cabbage family. It was formerly widely grown in Britain as a source of blue dye, which was extracted from the leaves after they had been dried, powdered, and fermented.
- Isatis tinctoria, family Cruciferae
- The distinctive blue dye used by the Picts to tattoo themselves came from the woad plant, which grows wild in the North of Britain.
- Woad robs the soil of nutrients, forcing medieval woad growers in Europe to move frequently in search of uncultivated land.
- Blues used in tartan cloth originally came from the native plant woad, which was also used as a form of ceremonial face and body paint by ancient Scots.
1.1Dye obtained from the woad plant, now superseded by synthetic products.
- The early Celts are fun to draw, with blue woad tattoos, punk-like spiky hair and walrus-like moustaches.
- ‘All Britons dye themselves with woad which makes them blue,’ Caesar recorded, ‘so that in battle their appearance is more terrible.’
- Caesar claimed far more widespread use of the blue dye woad, but this was used over the whole body and not for painting or tattooing patterns.
Definition of woad in:
- US English dictionary
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