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[loos-strahyf] /ˈlusˌstraɪf/
any of various plants belonging to the genus Lysimachia, of the primrose family, having clusters of usually yellow flowers, as L. vulgaris (garden loosestrife) or L. quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
any of several plants belonging to the genus Lythrum, of the loosestrife family.
Origin of loosestrife
1540-50; loose (v.) + strife, mistranslation of Latin lȳsimachīa (< Greek lȳsimáchei(os) + -a feminine noun suffix; see lysi-, -machy), plant said to be named after a certain Lysímachos; see -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for loosestrife
Historical Examples
  • And this is camal-buide (loosestrife) that will keep all bad things away.

  • The wild-flowers are willowherb, meadow-sweet, and loosestrife.

  • There are, as in the case of the loosestrife, flowers having pistils and stamens of three lengths.

    A Civic Biology George William Hunter
  • The loosestrife shall bloom and the huckleberry-bird sing over your bones.

    Excursions and Poems Henry David Thoreau
  • Every hedgerow was a blaze of blossom, roses, honeysuckle, elder; every brook was fringed with meadowsweet and loosestrife.

  • The pale gold of the loosestrife had faded, but the deeper yellow of the goldenrod had begun to take its place.

    Little Rivers Henry van Dyke
British Dictionary definitions for loosestrife


any of various primulaceous plants of the genus Lysimachia, esp the yellow-flowered L. vulgaris (yellow loosestrife) See also moneywort
purple loosestrife, a purple-flowered lythraceous marsh plant, Lythrum salicaria
any of several similar or related plants, such as the primulaceous plant Naumburgia thyrsiflora (tufted loosestrife)
Word Origin
C16: loose + strife, an erroneous translation of Latin lysimachia, as if from Greek lusimakhos ending strife, instead of from the name of the supposed discoverer, Lusimakhos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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