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90s Slang You Should Know


[vur-veyn] /ˈvɜr veɪn/
any plant belonging to the genus Verbena, of the verbena family, having elongated or flattened spikes of stalkless flowers.
Origin of vervain
1350-1400; Middle English vervaine < Anglo-French, Middle French verveine < Latin verbēna leafy twig, holy bough carried by priests Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for vervain
Historical Examples
  • With a movement almost unconscious he held the silken fabric close to his face and inhaled … vervain!

    The Grey Cloak Harold MacGrath
  • It was very good of you not to mention him before, Mrs. vervain.

    A Foregone Conclusion William Dean Howells
  • As he hung over her he drank in the faint perfume of vervain that arose from her dressing-gown.

    A Love Episode Emile Zola
  • He smiled patiently, and confessed that Mrs. vervain had all the reasons on her side.

    A Foregone Conclusion William Dean Howells
  • Upon the warm wind a fragrance was borne, cedar and vervain, and the scent of a hundred flowers.

    Japanese Fairy Tales Grace James
  • "Oh yes, there is," pleaded Mrs. vervain, laying her hand on his arm.

    A Foregone Conclusion William Dean Howells
  • "You see it's an American breakfast," said Mrs. vervain with a critical glance at the table before she sat down.

    A Foregone Conclusion William Dean Howells
  • He unfolded to him, as fully as he understood it, Mrs. vervain's scheme.

    A Foregone Conclusion William Dean Howells
  • Their look was sure death, but they could be poisoned by a draught compounded of agrimony, dill and vervain.

  • "I'm always getting it on askew," Mrs. vervain said for greeting to Ferris.

    A Foregone Conclusion William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for vervain


any of several verbenaceous plants of the genus Verbena, having square stems and long slender spikes of purple, blue, or white flowers
Word Origin
C14: from Old French verveine, from Latin verbēna sacred bough; see verbena
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 vervain

herbaceous plant, much valued medicinally in Middle Ages, late 14c., from Old French verveine (13c.), from Latin verbena (see verbena).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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