- 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.
Origin of ginseng
1645–55; < Chinese (Wade-Giles) jên2 shên1, (Pinyin) rén-shēn, equivalent to rén man + shēn name for a kind of herb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ginseng
There are several herbs used as supplements that fall under the term ginseng, though the most common is Panax ginseng.Fish Oil, Turmeric, and Ginseng, Oh My! Are ‘Brain Foods’ B.S.?
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD
October 10, 2014
What is that white lady doing with that handful of ginseng roots and bonito flakes?How a New England Yankee Conquered China
July 14, 2009
If it had not been for ginseng in Minnesota, many of the pioneers would have gone hungry.
After ginseng is steamed and dried, it is the color of amber.
Of the Ginseng thus collected the root is the only part preserved.Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics
He replied that he resided on the French Broad, and was a dealer in ginseng.Letters from the Alleghany Mountains
Ginseng at that time was plenty, and commanded a high price.A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison
James E. Seaver
- 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
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