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wormwood Line breaks: worm|wood
Pronunciation: /ˈwəːmwʊd/

Definition of wormwood in English:


[mass noun]
1A woody shrub with a bitter aromatic taste, used as an ingredient of vermouth and absinthe and in medicine.
Example sentences
  • This is a powdered mixture of natural ingredients that contains garlic as well as alfalfa, wormwood, yellowdock and pennyroyal.
  • Bitter herbs that would help would be gentian, artichoke, bitter orange, turmeric, wormwood and chamomile.
  • Hemingway later blamed the damage on woodworm, a witty reference to absinthe's quasi - magical ingredient - wormwood.
2A state or source of bitterness or grief.
Example sentences
  • The survivors of the 1996 election were relegated to a kind of mute opposition, forced to sip wormwood from the cup of their own brewing.
  • To be sure, the morbidity has become less lush; it's been distilled into essence of wormwood.


Old English wermōd. The change in spelling in late Middle English was due to association with worm and wood. Compare with vermouth.

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