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samphire

[sam-fahyuh r]
noun
  1. a European succulent plant, Crithmum maritimum, of the parsley family, having compound leaves and small, whitish flowers, growing in clefts of rock near the sea.
  2. glasswort.
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Origin of samphire

1535–45; earlier sampiere < Middle French (herbe de) Saint Pierre (herb of) Saint Peter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for samphire

Historical Examples

  • Sea spleenwort and masses of 113 samphire grew on the cliffs to his right.

    Antony Gray,--Gardener

    Leslie Moore

  • Mother said he'd take the samphire by boat to Fellness, and I thought perhaps he'd take me too.

    A Sailor's Lass

    Emma Leslie

  • They got across the sands with their samphire, just as Coomber and Bob were springing ashore.

    A Sailor's Lass

    Emma Leslie

  • There was no tuft of samphire to brush her face as she descended.

    In the Roar of the Sea

    Sabine Baring-Gould

  • The samphire is there still—the crithmum maritimum, or cranagh.


British Dictionary definitions for samphire

samphire

noun
  1. Also called: rock samphire an umbelliferous plant, Crithmum maritimum, of Eurasian coasts, having fleshy divided leaves and clusters of small greenish-white flowers
  2. golden samphire a Eurasian coastal plant, Inula crithmoides, with fleshy leaves and yellow flower heads: family Asteraceae (composites)
  3. another name for glasswort (def. 1)
  4. any of several other plants of coastal areas
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Word Origin

C16 sampiere, from French herbe de Saint Pierre Saint Peter's herb; perhaps influenced by camphire camphor
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