- a plant, Citrullus colocynthis, belonging to the gourd family, of the warmer parts of Asia, the Mediterranean region, etc., bearing a round, yellow or green fruit with a bitter pulp.
- the fruit of this plant.
- Pharmacology. the drug derived from the pulp of the unripe but full-grown fruit of this plant, used in medicine chiefly as a purgative.
Origin of colocynth
1555–65; < Latin colocynthis < Greek kolokynthís, variant of kolókyntha bitter gourd, bitter cucumber
Also called bitter apple (for defs 1, 2).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for colocynth
Some colocynth is gathered here and there, and dried in the hollows of the rocks.
Mixed with equal parts of colocynth it is applied to carbuncles.The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
T. H. Pardo de Tavera
Colocynth and Elaterium have also been proved to act specifically.The Action of Medicines in the System
Frederick William Headland
Those to be preferred are aloes, colocynth,50 and podophyllin.
She then ate one-half a colocynth, which made her terribly sick, causing a bloody diarrhea.Woman</p>
William J. Robinson
- a cucurbitaceous climbing plant, Citrullus colocynthis, of the Mediterranean region and Asia, having bitter-tasting fruit
- the dried fruit pulp of this plant, used as a strong purgative
German name: bitter apple
C17: from Latin colocynthis, from Greek kolokunthis, from kolokunthē gourd, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012