Definition of witch hazel in English:

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witch hazel

Pronunciation: /ˈwiCH ˌhāzəl/

noun

1A shrub with fragrant yellow flowers that is widely grown as an ornamental. American species flower in autumn, and Asian species in winter.
  • Genus Hamamelis, family Hamamelidaceae: several species, especially H. virginiana, which is the source of the lotion.
Example sentences
  • At this time of year it's difficult to make the garden look anything but dull, even with the occasional splash of winter colour from a witch hazel or mahonia.
  • To start, they planted shrubs and small trees, including dogwoods, serviceberries, witch hazels, and native rhododendrons.
  • Why witch hazels are not more widely grown is a mystery to me.
1.1An astringent lotion made from the bark and leaves of this plant.
Example sentences
  • If you have predominantly oily skin throughout the seasons, opt for a toner that contains witch hazel, instead.
  • Both contain 50 percent witch hazel, which is an astringent and cleansing agent.
  • Add a bit of witch hazel to the mix if you like an astringent quality.

Origin

Mid 16th century: witch, variant of wych (see wych elm).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: witch ha·zel

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