- the dried root of a shrubby South American plant, Cephaelis ipecacuanha, of the madder family.
- the plant itself.
- a drug consisting of the dried roots of this plant, used as an emetic, purgative, etc., and as the source of emetine.
Also ip·e·cac·u·an·ha [ip-i-kak-yoo-an-uh] /ˌɪp ɪˌkæk yuˈæn ə/.
Origin of ipecac
1780–90, Americanism; short for ipecacuanha < Portuguese < Tupi ipekaaguéne, equivalent to ipeh low + kaâ leaves + guéne vomit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ipecacuanha
This may have suggested to him the use of ipecacuanha and opium in a compound.The Mystery and Romance of Alchemy and Pharmacy
Charles John Samuel Thompson
Take of ipecacuanha, two drachms; boiling water, four ounces.
For this purpose, one scruple of ipecacuanha may be given in an ounce of water.
From ipecacuanha, 30 gr.; squills and ammoniacum, of each 40 gr.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II
Sometimes the dose of ipecacuanha may require to be repeated.
- a low-growing South American rubiaceous shrub, Cephaelis ipecacuanha
- a drug prepared from the dried roots of this plant, used as a purgative and emetic
C18: from Portuguese, from Tupi ipekaaguéne, from ipeh low + kaa leaves + guéne vomit
Word Origin and History for ipecacuanha
1710, borrowing via Portuguese of a shortened form of Tupi ipecacuana (a word attested in English from 1682), a medicinal plant of Brazil. The Indian word is said to mean "small plant causing vomit."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A preparation that is made from the dried roots and rhizomes of the shrub Cephaelis ipecacuanha that is used to induce vomiting.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.