Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know

witch hazel

[wich hey-zuh l] /ˈwɪtʃ ˌheɪ zəl/
a shrub, Hamamelis virginiana, of eastern North America, having toothed, egg-shaped leaves and small, yellow flowers.
a liquid extraction from the leaves or bark of this plant mixed with water and alcohol, used externally as a liniment for inflammations and bruises and as an astringent.
Origin of witch hazel
1535-45; witch, variant of wych (see wych elm) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for witch hazel
Historical Examples
  • Nine withes of witch hazel, banded together, is used as a rustic appliance to guard against witching influence.

  • I have changed my mind, and I mean to have it tied up with witch hazel.

  • I make out from what she says it is some like these fellers that can find water with a piece of witch hazel switch.

    Danny's Own Story Don Marquis
  • Go bathe your face and hands with witch hazel, that may help.

  • "It proves one thing right here," said Snorky Green, dousing his legs with the second bottle of witch hazel.

    Skippy Bedelle Owen Johnson
  • Never mind those, Eddie, give me your alcohol and witch hazel.

    The Tent Dwellers Albert Bigelow Paine
  • I'll wash the wound first and we can put on some witch hazel.

    The Rover Boys in the Air Edward Stratemeyer
  • witch hazel, that good old stand-by, is always refreshing and is especially good when combined with camphor water.

    The Woman Beautiful Helen Follett Stevans
  • And besides that, she was a real 'witch hazel;' she could tell where the springs were, and what's more, where they warn't.

    Real Folks Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
  • The elfin flowers of the witch hazel shine like threads of gold against the dull leaves that still cling.

    Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers
British Dictionary definitions for witch hazel

witch hazel

any of several trees and shrubs of the genus Hamamelis, esp H. virginiana, of North America, having ornamental yellow flowers and medicinal properties: family Hamamelidaceae
an astringent medicinal solution containing an extract of the bark and leaves of H. virginiana, applied to treat bruises, inflammation, etc
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for witch hazel

1540s, probably from Old English wice "wych-elm" (from wican "to bend") + hæsel, used for any bush of the pine family. The North American bush, from which a soothing lotion is made, was so called from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
witch hazel in Medicine

witch hazel n.

  1. Any of several deciduous shrubs or small trees of the genus Hamamelis, especially H. virginiana, of eastern North America, having yellow flowers that bloom in late autumn or winter.

  2. An alcoholic solution containing an extract of the bark and leaves of this plant, applied externally as a mild astringent.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for witch hazel

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for witch

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for witch hazel