[ ip-i-kak ]
/ ˈɪp ɪˌkæk /


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. 2019

Examples from the Web for ipecacuanha

British Dictionary definitions for ipecacuanha


ipecac (ˈɪpɪˌkæk)

/ (ˌɪpɪˌkækjʊˈænə) /


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

Word Origin for ipecacuanha

C18: from Portuguese, from Tupi ipekaaguéne, from ipeh low + kaa leaves + guéne vomit
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 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

Medicine definitions for ipecacuanha


[ ĭpĭ-kăk′ ]


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.