Definition of colocynth in English:


Line breaks: colo|cynth
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
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
    More 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.

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