vervain

[vur-veyn]
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noun

any plant belonging to the genus Verbena, of the verbena family, having elongated or flattened spikes of stalkless flowers.

Origin of vervain

1350–1400; Middle English vervaine < Anglo-French, Middle French verveine < Latin verbēna leafy twig, holy bough carried by priests
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vervain

Historical Examples of vervain

  • It was very good of you not to mention him before, Mrs. Vervain.

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells

  • He smiled patiently, and confessed that Mrs. Vervain had all the reasons on her side.

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells

  • "I suppose so," said Ferris, not caring to have Mrs. Vervain treat him so much like a boy.

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells

  • "I'm always getting it on askew," Mrs. Vervain said for greeting to Ferris.

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells

  • Mrs. Vervain sat down in the chair that stood beside the door.

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells


British Dictionary definitions for vervain

vervain

noun

any of several verbenaceous plants of the genus Verbena, having square stems and long slender spikes of purple, blue, or white flowers

Word Origin for vervain

C14: from Old French verveine, from Latin verbēna sacred bough; see verbena
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 vervain
n.

herbaceous plant, much valued medicinally in Middle Ages, late 14c., from Old French verveine (13c.), from Latin verbena (see verbena).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper