Definition of jalap in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdʒaləp/
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɒləp/


[mass noun]
A purgative drug obtained chiefly from the tuberous roots of a Mexican climbing plant.
  • This drug is obtained from Ipomoea purga, family Convolvulaceae.
Example sentences
  • Rush's strategy with serious fevers was to purge with powerful doses of calomel and jalap, followed by bleeding until the patient fainted.
  • A paste of the roots mixed with milk works as a laxative but with violent cathartic effect compared to the purgative jalap Ipomoea purga from which the true and milder jalap is extracted.
  • Accordingly, the expedition's medical kit contains substances to induce vomiting (ipecac, white vitriol, tartar emetic) and to loosen the bowels (jalap, rhubarb, cream of tartar, Glauber's salts, calomel, magnesia, assafoetida).


Mid 17th century: from French, from Spanish (purga de) Jalapa (see Jalapa).

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