[ tur-pith ]
/ ˈtɜr pɪθ /


the root of an East Indian plant, Merremia (or Operculina) turpethum, of the morning glory family, formerly used as a purgative.
the plant itself.

Origin of turpeth

1350–1400; < Medieval Latin turpethum < Arabic turbid < Persian; akin to Sanskrit tripuṭā; replacing Middle English turbit(h)(e) < Old French turbit(h) < Arabic turbid, as above
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Examples from the Web for turpeth

  • (10 grains)—Christison; and Turpeth mineral has proved fatal in doses of 2·6 grms.

  • Turpeth mineral in the quantity of one grain mixed with ten grains of sugar answers every purpose to be expected from errhines.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II|Erasmus Darwin
  • Ethiops mineral and Turpeth mineral are given to dogs when affected by the distemper, worms, or the mange.

  • As one grain of turpeth mineral (vitriolic calx of mercury) mixed with ten grains of fine sugar.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II|Erasmus Darwin

British Dictionary definitions for turpeth


/ (ˈtɜːpɪθ) /


a convolvulaceous plant, Operculina turpethum, of the East Indies, having roots with purgative properties
the root of this plant or the drug obtained from it

Word Origin for turpeth

C14: from Medieval Latin turbithum, ultimately from Arabic turbid
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