- a plant, Stachys (formerly Betonica) officinalis, of the mint family, having hairy leaves and dense spikes of purple flowers, formerly used in medicine and dyeing.
- any of various similar plants, especially of the genus Pedicularis.
Origin of betony
before 1000; late Middle English; Middle English betayny, betanie < Medieval Latin betōnia, re-formation of Latin betōnica (Pliny), in earlier readings vettōnica (herba) Vettonic (herb) (Vettōn(ēs) an Iberian tribe + -ica, feminine of -icus -ic); compare Middle English beteyne, betoyne (< AF), Old English bet(t)onice (< L)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for betony
Let it stand to cool, beat up three ounces of syrup of betony with a large spoonful of ale yeast, and put it into the liquor.
If it is caused by the brain, take syrup of betony and marjoram.
With the exception of vervain, no herb was more highly prized than betony.The Old English Herbals
Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
Upon the table lay a pipe filled with betony and colt's-foot, a roll of wax-candle, a silver spitting-pot, and a Seville orange.Isaac Bickerstaff
The seeds of Rue and the leaves of Betony boyled together in white wine.
- a Eurasian plant, Stachys (or Betonica) officinalis, with a spike of reddish-purple flowers, formerly used in medicine and dyeing: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
- any of several related plants of the genus Stachys
- wood betony a North American scrophulariaceous plant, Pedicularis canadensisSee also lousewort
C14: from Old French betoine, from Latin betonica, variant of vettonica, probably named after the Vettones, an ancient Iberian tribe