- any of numerous plants of the genus Euphorbia, having a milky juice and flowers with no petals or sepals.
Compare spurge family.
Origin of spurge
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spurge
Well; do not open my eyes with pincers, nor compose for them a collyrium of spurge.Imaginary Conversations and Poems
Walter Savage Landor
There are caterpillars which eat the leaves of the Euphorbia, or spurge, for instance.
This caterpillar is almost always found on the Cyprus-leafed spurge.
Thus the Spurge, that is noxious to man, is a most wholesome nourishment to the Caterpillar.
Bitter as spurge was that old story of hers now, and bitterer still the only moral lesson it now appeared to her to have.The Story of Louie
- any of various euphorbiaceous plants of the genus Euphorbia that have milky sap and small flowers typically surrounded by conspicuous bracts. Some species have purgative properties
C14: from Old French espurge, from espurgier to purge, from Latin expurgāre to cleanse, from ex- 1 + purgāre to purge
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
Word Origin and History for spurge
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper