- See under woodruff.
Origin of sweet woodruff
First recorded in 1790–1800
[woo d-ruh f, -ruhf]
- any of several plants belonging to the genus Asperula or Galium, of the madder family, as G. odoratum (sweet woodruff), a fragrant plant with small white flowers.
Origin of woodruff
before 1000; Middle English woderove, Old English wudurofe, wudurife, equivalent to wudu wood1 + -rofe, -rife, element of uncertain meaning; compare German Rübe carrot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a Eurasian and North African rubiaceous plant, Galium odoratum (or Asperula odorata), having whorls of leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers
- any of several rubiaceous plants of the genus Galium, esp G. odoratum (sweet woodruff), of Eurasia, which has small sweet-scented white flowers and whorls of narrow fragrant leaves used to flavour wine and liqueurs and in perfumery
Old English wudurofe, from wood 1 + rōfe, related to Old High German ruoba, Middle Low German rōve (beet)root, Latin rēpere to creep