[swol-oh-wurt, -wawrt]


any of several plants of the milkweed family, especially a climbing vine, Cynanchum nigrum (black swallowwort), native to Europe, having small, brownish flowers.

Nearby words

  1. swallow-tailed coat,
  2. swallow-tailed kite,
  3. swallow-tanager,
  4. swallowing reflex,
  5. swallowtail,
  6. swam,
  7. swami,
  8. swammerdam,
  9. swammerdam, jan,
  10. swamp

Origin of swallowwort

First recorded in 1540–50; swallow2 + wort2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for swallowwort



any of several Eurasian vines of the genus Cynanchum, esp C. nigrum, having small brownish-purple flowers: family Asclepiadaceae
a related European herbaceous plant, Vincetoxicum officinale (or Cynanchum vincetoxicum), having an emetic root
another name for greater celandine

Word Origin for swallowwort

C16: so called because the shape of its pod is reminiscent of a flying swallow

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