• synonyms


  1. a composite plant of the genus Arctium, especially A. lappa, a coarse, broad-leaved weed bearing prickly heads of burs that stick to the clothing.
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Origin of burdock

First recorded in 1590–1600; bur1 + dock4
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for burdock

Historical Examples of burdock

  • No, I would let it go, and ask him for burdock or beet, as the case might be.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 6.

    Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)

  • "Come along with us, sir, and we'll show you," said Burdock.

  • I knew I didn't need them burdock bitters all the time I was takin' 'em.

    The Rival Campers Ashore

    Ruel Perley Smith

  • You must be prepared to greet mullein and burdock as equals.

    In the Open

    Stanton Davis Kirkham

  • And the thistle looked at the burdock and asked, "Where in the world have you come from?"

British Dictionary definitions for burdock


  1. a coarse weedy Eurasian plant of the genus Arctium, having large heart-shaped leaves, tiny purple flowers surrounded by hooked bristles, and burlike fruits: family Asteraceae (composites)
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Word Origin for burdock

C16: from bur + dock 4
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 burdock


coarse, weedy plant, 1590s, from bur + dock (n.3).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper