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
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
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