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soapwort

[sohp-wurt, -wawrt]
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noun
  1. a plant, Saponaria officinalis, of the pink family, whose leaves are used for cleansing.
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Origin of soapwort

First recorded in 1540–50; soap + wort2
Also called bouncing Bet, bouncing Bess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for soapwort

Historical Examples

  • Dr. Handel prescribes a warm fomentation with a decoction of soapwort.

    The Natural History of Cage Birds

    J. M. Bechstein

  • It was common wayside "Bouncing Bet," but the Harvester called it "soapwort."

    The Harvester

    Gene Stratton Porter

  • Next came carrying the couch grass, wild alum, and soapwort into the store-room.

    The Harvester

    Gene Stratton Porter

  • A handsome wild plant of this order is the Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis).

    Everyday Objects

    W. H. Davenport Adams

  • The Soapwort comes to us from Europe, where in some localities it is a common wild flower.


British Dictionary definitions for soapwort

soapwort

noun
  1. a Eurasian caryophyllaceous plant, Saponaria officinalis, having rounded clusters of fragrant pink or white flowers and leaves that were formerly used as a soap substituteAlso called: bouncing Bet
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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