- an American tree, Sassafras albidum, of the laurel family, having egg-shaped leaves and long clusters of greenish-yellow flowers.
- the aromatic bark of its root, used medicinally and especially for flavoring beverages, confectionery, etc.
Origin of sassafras
Examples from the Web for sassafras
Now go and tell the rest of the boys, and get your sassafras to Preston's as soon as you can.
The boys found that even the sassafras could not have given her more pleasure.Some Three Hundred Years Ago
Edith Gilman Brewster
All she wants is a bit o' boneset tea, or sage an' sassafras.Reels and Spindles
Here they were engaged in loading their bark with sassafras, much to their satisfaction.The Settlers
William H. G. Kingston
The Virginians dropped all thought of sassafras and clapboard.Pioneers of the Old South
- an aromatic deciduous lauraceous tree, Sassafras albidum, of North America, having three-lobed leaves and dark blue fruits
- the aromatic dried root bark of this tree, used as a flavouring, and yielding sassafras oil
- Australian any of several unrelated trees having a similar fragrant bark
Word Origin and History for sassafras
small flowering tree of North America, 1570s, from Spanish sasafras, perhaps an adaptation of saxifraga "saxifrage," from Late Latin saxifragia, variant of saxifraga (see saxifrage). But the connection of the plants is difficult to explain, and the word perhaps represents a lost Native American name that sounded like Spanish saxifraga and was altered to conform to it. The tree supposedly was discovered by the Spanish in 1528.