• synonyms


  1. any plant of the genus Polygala, comprising the milkworts.
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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-
Related formspol·y·ga·la·ceous [pol-ee-guh-ley-shuh s, puh-lig-uh-] /ˌpɒl i gəˈleɪ ʃəs, pəˌlɪg ə-/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for polygalaceous


  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Polygalaceae, a family of plants having flowers with two large outer petal-like sepals, three small sepals, and three to five petals: includes milkwort
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  1. any herbaceous plant or small shrub of the polygalaceous genus PolygalaSee also milkwort
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Word Origin for 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