Definition of gentian in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjen(t)SH(ə)n/


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1A plant of temperate and mountainous regions, typically with violet or vivid blue trumpet-shaped flowers. Many kinds are cultivated as ornamentals, especially as arctic alpines, and some are of medicinal use.
  • Genera Gentiana and Gentianella, family Gentianaceae: numerous species, including the four-petaled fringed gentian (Gentiana crinita) of North America.
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.
1.1A tonic liquor formerly extracted from the root of the gentian.
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.

Words that rhyme with gentian

abstention, apprehension, ascension, attention, circumvention, comprehension, condescension, contention, contravention, convention, declension, detention, dimension, dissension, extension, hypertension, hypotension, intention, intervention, invention, mention, misapprehension, obtention, pension, prehension, prevention, recension, retention, subvention, supervention, suspension, tension

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gen·tian

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