• synonyms


[rag-wurt, -wawrt]
  1. any of various composite plants of the genus Senecio, as S. jacobaea, of the Old World, having yellow flowers and irregularly lobed leaves, or S. aureus (golden ragwort), of North America, also having yellow flowers.
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Origin of ragwort

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at rag1, wort2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ragwort

Historical Examples of ragwort

  • Just before I got to the hills a field of ragwort (senesio jacobœa) buried the cows.

    A Tour in Ireland

    Arthur Young

  • At night it will visit flowers, especially those of the ragwort.

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

    The Fairy Mythology

    Thomas Keightley

  • Our kinds have many common names, such as Groundsel, Ragwort, and Squaw-weed.

  • The senecio (ragwort), a species with finely cut leaves (S. millefolium), was first seen on Missionary Ridge.

British Dictionary definitions for ragwort


  1. any of several plants of the genus Senecio, esp S. jacobaea of Europe, that have yellow daisy-like flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)See also groundsel (def. 1)
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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 ragwort


mid-15c., from ragged, in reference to the appearance of the leaves, + wort.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper