Definition of witch hazel in English:

witch hazel

Line breaks: witch hazel
(also wych hazel)


  • 1A shrub with fragrant yellow flowers which 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
    More 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.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] An astringent lotion made from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel.
    More 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.


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

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