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sweet woodruff

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noun
  1. See under woodruff.
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Origin of sweet woodruff

First recorded in 1790–1800

woodruff

[woo d-ruh f, -ruhf]
noun
  1. 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.
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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

British Dictionary definitions for sweet woodruff

sweet woodruff

noun
  1. a Eurasian and North African rubiaceous plant, Galium odoratum (or Asperula odorata), having whorls of leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers
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woodruff

noun
  1. 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
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Word Origin

Old English wudurofe, from wood 1 + rōfe, related to Old High German ruoba, Middle Low German rōve (beet)root, Latin rēpere to creep
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