• synonyms


  1. any composite plant of the genus Arnica, having opposite leaves and yellow flower heads.
  2. a tincture of the flowers of A. montana, of Europe, and other species of Arnica, formerly used as an external application in sprains and bruises.
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Origin of arnica

1745–55; < New Latin < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arnica

Historical Examples

  • She spent the whole morning bathing and poulticing me, and rubbing me with arnica.

    My Antonia

    Willa Cather

  • Free applications of arnica or iodine will have an excellent effect.

  • Oil of Arnica is an excellent application for inflamed Piles.

  • There was an atmosphere of arnica and dejection in the house when we got there.

    At Good Old Siwash

    George Fitch

  • My knee he bandaged with arnica, after bathing it a long while with warm water.

    White Dandy; or, Master and I

    Velma Caldwell Melville

British Dictionary definitions for arnica


  1. any N temperate or arctic plant of the genus Arnica, typically having yellow flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)
  2. the tincture of the dried flower heads of any of these plants, esp A. montana, used in treating bruises
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Word Origin

C18: from New Latin, of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for arnica


plant genus of the borage family, 1753, Modern Latin, of unknown origin. Klein suggests Arabic arnabiyah, a name of a type of plant, as the ultimate source.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper