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  1. any East Indian plant belonging to the genus Derris, of the legume family, especially D. elliptica, the roots of which contain rotenone and are used as an insecticide.
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Origin of derris

1855–60; New Latin < Greek: a covering, derivative of déros skin, hide; see derma1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for derris


  1. any East Indian leguminous woody climbing plant of the genus Derris, esp D. elliptica, whose roots yield the compound rotenone
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Word Origin

C19: New Latin, from Greek: covering, leather, from deros skin, hide, from derein to skin
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