St.-John's-wort

[seynt-jonz-wurt, -wawrt]

Origin of St.-John's-wort

First recorded in 1745–55; so named because gathered on St. John's Eve to ward off evil
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British Dictionary definitions for saint john's wort

Saint John's wort

noun usually abbreviated to: St John's wort
    1. any of numerous shrubs or herbaceous plants of the temperate genus Hypericum, such as H. perforatum, having yellow flowers and glandular leaves: family Hypericaceae
    2. a preparation of this plant often used to treat mild depressionSee also rose of Sharon (def. 1), tutsan

Word Origin for Saint John's wort

C15: so named because it was traditionally gathered on Saint John's Eve (June 23) as a protection against evil spirits
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