[ mok-suh ]
/ ˈmɒk sə /


a flammable substance or material obtained from the leaves of certain Chinese and Japanese wormwood plants, especially Artemisia moxa.
this substance or a similar one of cotton, wool, or the like, placed on the skin usually in the form of a cone or cylinder and ignited for use as a counterirritant.

Origin of moxa

1670–80; by uncertain mediation < Japanese mogusa, equivalent to mo(y)e burn + -gusa, combining form of kusa herb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for moxas

  • The Japanese believe in the use of moxas for many things,—bad children, sickness, and I can't tell you what else.

    Our Little Japanese Cousin|Mary Hazelton Wade
  • The moxas are made of a certain kind of pith, and burn slowly just as the punk does.

    Our Little Japanese Cousin|Mary Hazelton Wade

British Dictionary definitions for moxas

/ (ˈmɒksə) /


a downy material obtained from various plants and used in Oriental medicine by being burned on the skin as a cauterizing agent or counterirritant for the skin
any of various plants yielding this material, such as the wormwood Artemisia chinensis

Word Origin for moxa

C17: anglicized version of Japanese mogusa, contraction of moe gusa burning herb
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

Medicine definitions for moxas

[ mŏksə ]


A cone or cylinder of cotton wool or other combustible material, placed on the skin and ignited in order to produce counterirritation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.