or cow·hage, cow·itch
- a tropical vine, Mucuna pruriens, of the legume family, bearing reddish or blackish pods.
- the pod itself, covered with bristlelike hairs that are irritating to the skin and cause intense itching.
- the hairs of the cowage mixed with a liquid vehicle and used to expel intestinal worms.
Origin of cowage
1630–40; < Hindi kãũch, kēvā̃c (compare kavac any husk or pod), reshaped in E by folk etymology
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cowage
Historical Examples of cowage
Its houses roofless, their walls crumbled, are scarcely seen beneath the thick green carpet of convolvulus, and cowage (mecuna).
- a tropical climbing leguminous plant, Stizolobium (or Mucuna) pruriens, whose bristly pods cause severe itching and stinging
- the pods of this plant or the stinging hairs covering them
Word Origin for cowage
C17: from Hindi kavāch, of obscure origin
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