Definition of colocynth in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɒləsɪnθ/


1A tropical Old World climbing plant of the gourd family, which bears a pulpy fruit. Also called bitter apple.
  • Citrullus colocynthis, family Cucurbitaceae.
Example sentences
  • Commercial extract of colocynth may be often found in the market made with an aqueous menstruum.
  • The ground was luxuriant with colocynth, whose runners and fruits looked festive in the early light.
  • As one proceeds inwards, the thinly spaced vegetation become more frequent, with a dense acacia forest, continuous tufts of panicum grass and colocynths covering the valley floor in the broad middle section.
1.1The fruit of the colocynth plant.
Example sentences
  • If eaten in large quantities, the colocynth might even cause death.
  • They may take strong cathartics unadulterated to purify their bellies, such as, for instance, unripe colocynths, Thapsia garganica, and Euphorbia.
  • It is a native of Africa, where there were originally two species: the watermelon itself and the very bitter colocynth, which is inedible without being processed but has some food uses as well as some in traditional medicine.
1.2 [mass noun] A bitter purgative drug obtained from the colocynth fruit.
Example sentences
  • Nevertheless, a century later many Victorians were taking a nightly dose of blue pill, aloes, colocynth, and castor and croton oils to purge their bowels.
  • It is frequently combined with blue pill or compound colocynth pill, or with Dover's powder.
  • The patient was given Colocynth as an acute remedy as the acute picture matched with colocynth.


Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek kolokunthis.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: colo|cynth

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