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tarragon

[tar-uh-gon, -guh n]
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noun
  1. an Old World plant, Artemisia dracunculus, having aromatic leaves used for seasoning.
  2. the leaves themselves.
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Origin of tarragon

1530–40; earlier taragon < Middle French targon, variant of tarc(h)on < Medieval Latin < Medieval Greek tarchṓn < Arabic ṭarkhūn < Greek drákōn literally, dragon; compare Latin dracunculus tarragon
Also called estragon.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for tarragon

tarragon

noun
  1. an aromatic perennial plant, Artemisia dracunculus, of the Old World, having whitish flowers and small toothed leaves, which are used as seasoning: family Asteraceae (composites)
  2. the leaves of this plant
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Also called: estragon

Word Origin

C16: from Old French targon, from Medieval Latin tarcon, from Arabic tarkhūn, perhaps from Greek drakontion adderwort
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 tarragon

n.

1530s, from Medieval Latin tragonia, from Byzantine Greek tarchon, from Arabic tarkhon, from a non-Arabic source, perhaps Greek drakon (from drakontion "dragonwort"). Eastern European plant of the wormwood genus (Artemisia Dracunculus), whose aromatic leaves were used for flavoring (especially vinegar). Cf. Spanish taragona, Italian targone, French estragon.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper