gentian

[ jen-shuh n ]
/ ˈdʒɛn ʃən /

noun

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.

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Origin of gentian

1350–1400; Middle English gencian < Latin gentiāna; said to be named after Gentius, an Illyrian king
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for gentian

British Dictionary definitions for gentian

gentian
/ (ˈdʒɛnʃən) /

noun

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

C14: from Latin gentiāna; perhaps named after Gentius, a second-century bc Illyrian king, reputedly the first to use it medicinally
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