[ sen-taw-ree ]
/ ˈsɛn tɔ ri /

noun, plural cen·tau·ries.

any of various plants belonging to the genus Centaurium, of the gentian family, having clusters of small pink or red flowers.
any of several other plants of the genera Centaurea and Sabatia.



"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10

Origin of centaury

before 1000; Middle English, Old English centaurie < Medieval Latin centauria, apparently < Greek kentaúria, neuter plural (taken in ML as feminine singular) of kentaúrion, noun use of neuter of kentaúrios (adj.), equivalent to kéntaur(os) centaur + -ios adj. suffix; said to be in reference to the centaur Chiron, known for his knowledge of medicinal plants
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for centaury

British Dictionary definitions for centaury

/ (ˈsɛntɔːrɪ) /

noun plural -ries

any Eurasian plant of the genus Centaurium, esp C. erythraea, having purplish-pink flowers and formerly believed to have medicinal properties: family Gentianaceae
any plant of the genus Centaurea, which includes the cornflower and knapweed: family Compositae (composites)

Word Origin for centaury

C14: ultimately from Greek Kentauros the Centaur; from the legend that Chiron the Centaur divulged its healing properties
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