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See more synonyms for ragweed on Thesaurus.com
  1. any of the composite plants of the genus Ambrosia, the airborne pollen of which is the most prevalent cause of autumnal hay fever, as the common North American species, A. trifida (great ragweed or giant ragweed) and A. artemisiifolia.
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Origin of ragweed

1650–60; rag1 + weed1, so called from its ragged appearance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ragweed

Historical Examples

  • Yellow-stick, the ragwort or ragweed, which grows to a great size in Ireland.

    The Fairy Mythology

    Thomas Keightley

  • Then there's this ragweed; if I let it alone, it will choke out every thing else.

    The Old Market-Cart

    Mrs. F. B. Smith

  • If man could make but the single seed of the ragweed, he could make a world.

  • "Honestly, I didn't think it would kill anything but ragweed," Henry sniveled miserably.

  • Weed seeds such as those of spurges (Euphorbia), ragweed, and pigweed were found in trace amounts in the diet of the crows.

British Dictionary definitions for ragweed


  1. any plant of the chiefly North American genus Ambrosia, such as A. artemisiifolia (common ragweed): family Asteraceae (composites). Their green tassel-like flowers produce large amounts of pollen, which causes hay feverAlso called: ambrosia
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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

Word Origin and History for ragweed


1790, from ragged + weed (n.); so called from shape of the leaves. Applied to a different plant (ragwort) from 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ragweed in Medicine


  1. Any of various weeds of the genus Ambrosia having small greenish unisexual flower heads and producing abundant pollen that is one of the chief causes of hay fever.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.