• synonyms


  1. a buckthorn, Rhamnus purshiana, of the Pacific coast of the U.S., having finely toothed leaves and flowers in umbels and yielding cascara sagrada.
Show More

Origin of cascara

1875–80, Americanism; < Spanish cáscara bark, perhaps akin to cascar to crack ≪ Vulgar Latin *quassicāre, equivalent to Latin quass(āre) to shatter (see quash) + -icā- formative v. suffix + -re infinitive ending
Also called cascara buckthorn, bearberry, chittamwood.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cascara

Historical Examples of cascara

  • Cascara sagrada, its Mexican name, is often used for this tree.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

  • "We're having trouble with that last lot of cascara, sir," said he lugubriously.

    The Clarion

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • Unfortunately, after he had taken them, I discovered they contained nothing more exciting than cascara.

    Caught by the Turks

    Francis Yeats-Brown

  • Cascara tablets are generally given in one to ten grain doses.

  • Of the laxative drugs which may be used at such a time, cascara sagrada and senna are among the least harmful.

    The Mother and Her Child

    William S. Sadler

British Dictionary definitions for cascara


  1. See cascara sagrada
  2. Also called: cascara buckthorn, bearwood a shrub or small tree, Rhamnus purshiana of NW North America, whose bark is a source of cascara sagrada: family Rhamnaceae
Show More

Word Origin for cascara

C19: from Spanish: bark, from cascar to break, from Vulgar Latin quassicāre (unattested) to shake violently, shatter, from Latin quassāre to dash to pieces
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