[ puh-lig-uh-luh ]

  1. any plant of the genus Polygala, comprising the milkworts.

Origin of polygala

1570–80; <New Latin, genus name, special use of Latin polygala, for Greek polýgalon milkwort, literally, something very milky, equivalent to poly-poly- + -galon, derivative of gála milk; see galacto-

Other words from polygala

  • pol·y·ga·la·ceous [pol-ee-guh-ley-shuhs, puh-lig-uh-], /ˌpɒl i gəˈleɪ ʃəs, pəˌlɪg ə-/, adjective

Words Nearby polygala

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use polygala in a sentence

  • I usually find it and the fringed polygala in bloom at the same time; the lady's-slipper is a little later.

    A Year in the Fields | John Burroughs
  • Youth, after all, is a shamefaced and secretive season; like the fringed polygala, it hides its real blossom underground.

    Little Rivers | Henry van Dyke
  • I must not forget to mention that delicate and lovely flower of May, the fringed polygala.

    Riverby | John Burroughs
  • Its scientific name, polygala, is derived from Greek and means “much milk,” and the plant was supposed to encourage lactation.

  • But the polygala is quite inodorous, while the guaco gives forth a strong aromatic smell, resembling valerian.

    The Quadroon | Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for polygala


/ (pəˈlɪɡələ) /

  1. any herbaceous plant or small shrub of the polygalaceous genus Polygala: See also milkwort

Origin of polygala

C18: New Latin, from Greek polugalon, from poly- + gala milk

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