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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[uhs-nee-uh] /ˈʌs ni ə/
any pale-green or gray, mosslike lichen of the genus Usnea, common on rocks and trees.
Origin of usnea
1590-1600; < New Latin, Medieval Latin < Arabic or Persian ushnah Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Historical Examples
  • It was in a section of Mississippi where there was no usnea growing within 60 miles.

  • The Indian said that the usnea lichen which we saw hanging from the trees was called chorchorque.

    The Maine Woods Henry David Thoreau
  • The larger ones covered with lichens,—often hung with the long gray usnea.

    Cape Cod Henry D. Thoreau
  • usnea barbata is collected from trees in Pennsylvania, and used for an orange colour for yarn.

    Vegetable Dyes Ethel M. Mairet

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