- any of various tropical Asian and Australian pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes, having leaves usually in the form of cylindrical tubes.
Origin of nepenthes
- a drug or drink, or the plant yielding it, mentioned by ancient writers as having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble.
- anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble.
Origin of nepenthe
Related Words for nepenthesanesthetic, opium, painkiller, dope, sedative, opiate, tranquilizer, heroin, merchandise, junk, fix, hypnotic, soporific, stuff, analgesic, anodyne, downer, lenitive, laudanum, somnifacient
Examples from the Web for nepenthes
Historical Examples of nepenthes
The leaf of Nepenthes (Fig. 175) combines three structures and uses.The Elements of Botany
Among the botanical productions Nepenthes destillatoria, the famous pitcher-plant of the East, deserves mention.Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade Archipelago, Etc. To Which Is Added The Account Of Mr. E.B. Kennedy's Expedition For The Exploration Of The Cape York Peninsula. By John Macgillivray, F.R.G.S. Naturalist To The Expedition. In Two Volumes. Volume 1.
Dr. Hooker shows that the pitcher of Nepenthes is due to a modification of a gland placed at the extremity of the midrib.Vegetable Teratology
Maxwell T. Masters
Theodore Zwinger, Sprengel, and others have supposed that the nepenthes of Homer was opium.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II
One of the broad sort, Nepenthes rajah, will hold two quarts of water in its pitcher.The Malay Archipelago
Alfred Russell Wallace
- a drug, or the plant providing it, that ancient writers referred to as a means of forgetting grief or trouble
- anything that produces sleep, forgetfulness, or pleasurable dreaminess
Word Origin for nepenthe
1570s, nepenthes, from Greek nepenthes, from ne- "no, not" (see un-) + penthos "pain, grief," from PIE *kwent(h)- "to suffer" (see pathos). A drug of Egypt mentioned in the "Odyssey" as capable of banishing grief or trouble from the mind. The -s is a proper part of the word, but likely was mistaken in English as a plural affix and dropped.