Definition of ipecac in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈipikak/
(also ipecacuanha /ˌipiˌkak(y)o͞oˈan(y)ə/ /ēˌpākə-/)


1The dried rhizome of a South American shrub, or a drug prepared from this, used as an emetic and expectorant.
Example sentences
  • Thomas Dover, who was a pupil of Sydenham, invented Dover's Powder (opium, ipecac, licorice, and saltpeter).
  • Lack of correlation between use of syrup of ipecac and referral reduction does not mean that syrup of ipecac is ineffective.
  • Mohler and associates evaluated the safety of home monitoring alone, without administration of syrup of ipecac, in children younger than seven years who ingested less than 200 mg per kg of acetaminophen.
2The shrub of the bedstraw family that produces ipecac, native to Brazil and cultivated elsewhere.
  • Cephaelis ipecacuanha, family Rubiaceae.
2.1Used in names of other plants with uses similar to ipecac, e.g., American ipecac (Gillenia trifoliata, family Rosaceae).


Early 17th century: from Portuguese, from Tupi-Guarani ipekaaguéne 'emetic creeper', from ipe 'small' + kaa 'leaves' + guéne 'vomit'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ip·e·cac

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