sarsaparilla

[ sas-puh-ril-uh, sahr-suh-puh-, sahr-spuh- ]
/ ˌsæs pəˈrɪl ə, ˌsɑr sə pə-, ˌsɑr spə- /

noun

any of various climbing or trailing tropical American plants belonging to the genus Smilax, of the lily family, having alternate leaves, umbels of flowers, and a root that has been used in the treatment of psoriasis.
the root.
an extract or other preparation made of this root.
a soft drink flavored with an extract of this root, as root beer.

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Origin of sarsaparilla

1570–80; <Spanish zarzaparrilla, equivalent to zarza bush + parrilla (parr(a) vine + -illa diminutive suffix)

Words nearby sarsaparilla

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for sarsaparilla

sarsaparilla
/ (ˌsɑːsəpəˈrɪlə, ˌsɑːspə-) /

noun

any of various prickly climbing plants of the tropical American genus Smilax having large aromatic roots and heart-shaped leaves: family Smilacaceae
the dried roots of any of these plants, formerly used as a medicine
a nonalcoholic drink prepared from these roots
any of various plants resembling true sarsaparilla, esp the araliaceous plant Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla), of North America

Word Origin for sarsaparilla

C16: from Spanish zarzaparrilla, from zarza a bramble, (from Arabic šaras) + -parrilla, from Spanish parra a climbing plant
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