- any of several plants of the genera Gentiana, Gentianella, and Gentianopsis, having usually blue, or sometimes yellow, white, or red, flowers, as the fringed gentian of North America, or Gentiana lutea, of Europe.Compare gentian family.
- any of various plants resembling the gentian.
- the root of G. lutea, or a preparation of it, used as a tonic.
Origin of gentian
Examples from the Web for gentian
Historical Examples of gentian
He would chew camomile, gentian, tooth-picks, but it was of no use.How to Succeed
Orison Swett Marden
Discard the golden-rod for the gentian, and in turn forsake the gentian for the twin-flower?The Foot-path Way
I told the saleswoman to get me the best she had but it must be gentian blue.Anthony Trent, Master Criminal
Stomachics restore the tone of the stomach, such as gentian, &c.Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million
Sarah Josepha Hale
The ancients describe one species of Gentian; I know of ten or more.Herbals, Their Origin and Evolution
- any gentianaceous plant of the genera Gentiana or Gentianella, having blue, yellow, white, or red showy flowers
- the bitter-tasting dried rhizome and roots of Gentiana lutea (European or yellow gentian), which can be used as a tonic
- any of several similar plants, such as the horse gentian
Word Origin for gentian
late 14c., genciane, from Old French genciane and directly from Latin gentiana, said by Pliny to be named for Gentius, king of ancient Illyria who discovered its properties. This likely is a folk-etymology, but the word may be Illyrian nonetheless, because the suffix -an frequently occurs in Illyrian words.