Definition of gentian in English:


Syllabification: gen·tian
Pronunciation: /ˈjenCHən


  • 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
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    • 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.
    More 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.

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