Definition of loosestrife in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlo͞o(s)strīf/


Any of various tall plants that bear upright spikes of flowers.
  • Several plants of the genus Lythrum (family Lythraceae), in particular the purple loosestrife (L. salicaria) of the Old World, now well established in North America. Several yellow-flowered plants of the genus Lysimachia (family Primulaceae), in particular the garden loosestrife (L. vulgaris) of Eurasia and North America..
Example sentences
  • Purple loosestrife can grow to 3-9 feet tall with several, square stalks per plant.
  • Wildflowers here include water parsnip, fringed loosestrife, and hedge nettle.
  • Purple loosestrife will grow vigorously and clog irrigation canals, ditches, stream banks and reservoirs, resulting in less water available for crop production and recreation.


Mid 16th century: from loose + strife, taking the Greek name lusimakheion (actually from Lusimakhos, the name of its discoverer) to be directly from luein 'undo' + makhē 'battle'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: loose·strife

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