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  1. cowage.


or cow·hage, cow·itch

  1. a tropical vine, Mucuna pruriens, of the legume family, bearing reddish or blackish pods.
  2. the pod itself, covered with bristlelike hairs that are irritating to the skin and cause intense itching.
  3. the hairs of the cowage mixed with a liquid vehicle and used to expel intestinal worms.

Origin of cowage

1630–40; < Hindi kãũch, kēvā̃c (compare kavac any husk or pod), reshaped in E by folk etymology
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cowhage

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for cowhage



  1. a tropical climbing leguminous plant, Stizolobium (or Mucuna) pruriens, whose bristly pods cause severe itching and stinging
  2. the pods of this plant or the stinging hairs covering them

Word Origin

C17: from Hindi kavāch, 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

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