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ephedra

[ih-fed-ruh, ef-i-druh]
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noun
  1. any of various plants of the genus Ephedra, growing in dry regions and having branching stems with dry scalelike leaves.
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Origin of ephedra

< New Latin (Linnaeus) < Greek ephédra the horsetail plant, literally, sitting (upon a place), equivalent to ep- ep- + hédra seat, sitting (see cathedra)
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British Dictionary definitions for ephedra

ephedra

noun
  1. any gymnosperm shrub of the genus Ephedra, of warm regions of America and Eurasia: the source of ephedrine: family Ephedraceae, phylum Gnetophyta
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Word Origin

C18: New Latin, from Latin, from Greek ephedros a sitting upon, from epi- + hedra seat
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

Word Origin and History for ephedra

n.

genus of low, branchy desert shrubs, 1914, from Modern Latin (1737) from Greek ephedra, a name given by Pliny to the horsetail, literally "sitting upon," from fem. of ephedros, from epi "on" (see epi-) + hedra "seat, base, chair, face of a geometric solid" (see sedentary). The reason for the name is not known.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper