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or mullen

[muhl-uh n] /ˈmʌl ən/
any of various plants belonging to the genus Verbascum, of the figwort family, native to the Old World, especially V. thapsus, a tall plant with woolly leaves and a dense spike of yellow flowers.
any of several similar plants.
Origin of mullein
1325-75; Middle English moleine < Anglo-French, perhaps derivative of mol soft < Latin mollis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mullein
Historical Examples
  • mullein and nettle, henbane and wormwood, all are English emigrants.

    Home Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • If I just had some mullein leaves now to make compresses with!

    Tabitha at Ivy Hall Ruth Alberta Brown
  • Here about mullein Hill, this is sure to be a gray-birch home.


    Dallas Lore Sharp
  • These great flannel leaves of the mullein are caressing and soft to the touch.

    In the Open Stanton Davis Kirkham
  • They were all new-comers this summer, even the mullein, arrogant and tall as it was.

    Little Johannes Frederik van Eeden
  • This is cuineul-Muire (mullein), the blessed candle of our Lady.

  • They are also to be found in quantities on the mullein, when that plant is in flower.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
  • There is a mullein, too, which is well worth a corner in any garden.

    A Year in a Lancashire Garden

    Henry Arthur Bright
  • He left the male fern and mullein until the last for different reasons.

    The Harvester Gene Stratton Porter
  • Its nest is very small, and is elegantly lined with the down of the mullein.

British Dictionary definitions for mullein


any of various European herbaceous plants of the scrophulariaceous genus Verbascum, such as V. thapsus (common mullein or Aaron's rod), typically having tall spikes of yellow flowers and broad hairy leaves See also Aaron's rod
Word Origin
C15: from Old French moleine, probably from Old French mol soft, from Latin mollis
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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Word Origin and History for mullein

tall plant of the figwort family, mid-15c., from Anglo-French moleine (French moulaine), perhaps literally "the soft-leaved plant," from French mol "soft," from Latin mollis (see melt (v.))

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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