• synonyms


  1. the root of certain tropical American plants of the genus Dorstenia, of the mulberry family, especially D. contrajerva, used as a stimulant, diaphoretic, etc.
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Origin of contrayerva

1650–60; < Spanish contrayerba, contrahierba < Latincontrā contra-1 + herba herb; so called from its being thought an antidote to poison
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contrayerva

Historical Examples of contrayerva

  • Contrayerva, kon-tra-yėr′va, n. a stimulating and tonic aromatic root of tropical America.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D)


  • The contrayerva infusion in distilled water had acquired a disagreeable fœtor, but the beef was not yet putrid.

British Dictionary definitions for contrayerva


  1. the root of any of several tropical American moraceous plants of the genus Dorstenia, esp D. contrayerva, used as a stimulant and tonic
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Word Origin for contrayerva

C17: from Spanish contrayerba, from contra- + yerba grass, (poisonous) plant, from Latin herba; referring to the belief that it was an antidote to poisons
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