• synonyms


  1. any of various plants belonging to the genus Lysimachia, of the primrose family, having clusters of usually yellow flowers, as L. vulgaris (garden loosestrife) or L. quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife).
  2. any of several plants belonging to the genus Lythrum, of the loosestrife family.
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Origin of loosestrife

1540–50; loose (v.) + strife, mistranslation of Latin lȳsimachīa (< Greek lȳsimáchei(os) + -a feminine noun suffix; see lysi-, -machy), plant said to be named after a certain Lysímachos; see -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for loosestrife

Historical Examples

  • The wild-flowers are willowherb, meadow-sweet, and loosestrife.

    Beauchamp's Career, Complete

    George Meredith

  • The loosestrife shall bloom and the huckleberry-bird sing over your bones.

    Excursions and Poems

    Henry David Thoreau

  • The pale gold of the loosestrife had faded, but the deeper yellow of the goldenrod had begun to take its place.

    Little Rivers

    Henry van Dyke

  • And this is camal-buide (loosestrife) that will keep all bad things away.

  • There are, as in the case of the loosestrife, flowers having pistils and stamens of three lengths.

    A Civic Biology

    George William Hunter

British Dictionary definitions for loosestrife


  1. any of various primulaceous plants of the genus Lysimachia, esp the yellow-flowered L. vulgaris (yellow loosestrife)See also moneywort
  2. purple loosestrife a purple-flowered lythraceous marsh plant, Lythrum salicaria
  3. any of several similar or related plants, such as the primulaceous plant Naumburgia thyrsiflora (tufted loosestrife)
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Word Origin

C16: loose + strife, an erroneous translation of Latin lysimachia, as if from Greek lusimakhos ending strife, instead of from the name of the supposed discoverer, Lusimakhos
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