any of several plants of the genus Panax, especially P. pseudoginseng, of eastern Asia, or P. qinquefolius, of North America, having an aromatic root used medicinally.
the root itself.
a preparation made from it.

Also genseng.

Origin of ginseng

1645–55; < Chinese (Wade-Giles) jên2 shên1, (Pinyin) rén-shēn, equivalent to rén man + shēn name for a kind of herb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ginseng

Contemporary Examples of ginseng

Historical Examples of ginseng

British Dictionary definitions for ginseng



either of two araliaceous plants, Panax schinseng of China or P. quinquefolius of North America, whose forked aromatic roots are used medicinally
the root of either of these plants or a substance obtained from the roots, believed to possess stimulant, tonic, and energy-giving properties

Word Origin for ginseng

C17: from Mandarin Chinese jen shen, from jen man (from a resemblance of the roots to human legs) + shen ginseng
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 ginseng

1690s, from Chinese jen-shen. First element means "man," but the meaning of the second is obscure.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper