[ as-uh-fet-i-duh ]
/ ˌæs əˈfɛt ɪ də /

noun Chemistry.

a soft, brown, lumpy gum resin having a bitter, acrid taste and an obnoxious odor, obtained from the roots of several Near Eastern plants belonging to the genus Ferula, of the parsley family: formerly used in medicine as a carminative and antispasmodic.

Nearby words

  1. as-live,
  2. as-told-to,
  3. as.,
  4. asa,
  5. asa/bs,
  6. asafoetida,
  7. asahigawa,
  8. asahikawa,
  9. asalam-wa-leikum,
  10. asama

Also a·sa·foet·i·da, asfetida.

Origin of asafetida

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin asafoetida, equivalent to asa (< Persian āzā mastic, gum) + Latin foetida, feminine of foetidus fetid

Also called devil's dung, food of the gods. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for asafetida

Word Origin and History for asafetida



late 14c., from Medieval Latin asa (Latinized from Persian aza "mastic") + foetida, fem. of foetidus "stinking" (see fetid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper