• synonyms


[sil-ee-uh m]
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  1. fleawort.
  2. Also called psyllium seed. the seeds of this plant, used as a laxative.

Origin of psyllium

1595–1605; < New Latin < Greek psýllion, psyllíon, derivative of psýlla flea
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for psyllium


  1. a grain, Plantago psafra, the husks of which are used medicinally as a laxative and to reduce blood cholesterol levels

Word Origin

C16: Latin, from Greek psulla flea, due to the resemblance of the seeds to fleas
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

psyllium in Medicine


  1. An annual Eurasian plant having opposite leaves and small flowers borne in dense spikes.
  2. The seeds of this plant, widely used as a mild bulk laxative and sometimes added to foods as a dietary source of soluble fiber.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.