aspidistra

[ as-pi-dis-truh ]
/ ˌæs pɪˈdɪs trə /

noun

any of several plants belonging to the genus Aspidistra, of the lily family, native to eastern Asia, especially A. eliator, having large evergreen leaves often striped with white, and grown as a houseplant.

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Also called barroom plant, cast-iron plant, iron plant.

Origin of aspidistra

1815–25; <New Latin, equivalent to aspid- (<Greek: stem of aspís shield) + -istra, extracted from Tupistra genus of liliaceous plants <Greek typís mallet + Latin -tra plural of -trum noun suffix denoting instrument
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for aspidistra

  • The open inner door showed a bright linoleum on the floor, and the end of a brown side-board on which stood an aspidistra.

    Aaron's Rod|D. H. Lawrence
  • An aspidistra (please note spelling) is the best plant there is for roughing it.

    Small Gardens|Violet Purton Biddle
  • The modesty of the violet is nowhere when compared with the aspidistra!

    Small Gardens|Violet Purton Biddle

British Dictionary definitions for aspidistra

aspidistra
/ (ˌæspɪˈdɪstrə) /

noun

any Asian plant of the liliaceous genus Aspidistra, esp A. lurida, a popular house plant with long tough evergreen leaves and purplish flowers borne on the ground

Word Origin for aspidistra

C19: from New Latin, from Greek aspis shield, on the model of Tupistra genus of liliaceous plants
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