pokeweed

[pohk-weed]
noun
  1. a tall herb, Phytolacca americana, of North America, having juicy purple berries and a purple root used in medicine, and young edible shoots resembling asparagus.

Origin of pokeweed

An Americanism dating back to 1745–55; poke4 + weed1
Also called poke·root [pohk-root, -roo t] /ˈpoʊkˌrut, -ˌrʊt/, scoke, garget.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of pokeweed


British Dictionary definitions for pokeweed

pokeweed

pokeberry or pokeroot

noun
  1. a tall North American plant, Phytolacca americana, that has small white flowers, juicy purple berries, and a poisonous purple root used medicinally: family PhytolaccaceaeSometimes shortened to: poke Also called: inkberry

Word Origin for pokeweed

C18 poke, shortened from Algonquian puccoon plant used in dyeing, from pak blood
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