[ ih-fed-ruh, ef-i-druh ]
/ ɪˈfɛd rə, ˈɛf ɪ drə /


any of various plants of the genus Ephedra, growing in dry regions and having branching stems with dry scalelike leaves.

Nearby words

  1. ephapse,
  2. ephebe,
  3. ephebiatrics,
  4. ephebic,
  5. ephebus,
  6. ephedrine,
  7. ephelis,
  8. ephemera,
  9. ephemeral,
  10. ephemerality

Origin of ephedra

< New Latin (Linnaeus) < Greek ephédra the horsetail plant, literally, sitting (upon a place), equivalent to ep- ep- + hédra seat, sitting (see cathedra)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ephedra

British Dictionary definitions for ephedra


/ (ɪˈfɛdrə) /


any gymnosperm shrub of the genus Ephedra, of warm regions of America and Eurasia: the source of ephedrine: family Ephedraceae, phylum Gnetophyta

Word Origin for ephedra

C18: New Latin, from Latin, from Greek ephedros a sitting upon, from epi- + hedra seat

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

Word Origin and History for ephedra



genus of low, branchy desert shrubs, 1914, from Modern Latin (1737) from Greek ephedra, a name given by Pliny to the horsetail, literally "sitting upon," from fem. of ephedros, from epi "on" (see epi-) + hedra "seat, base, chair, face of a geometric solid" (see sedentary). The reason for the name is not known.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper