- 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. 2018
Examples from the Web for vervain
He smiled patiently, and confessed that Mrs. Vervain had all the reasons on her side.
It was very good of you not to mention him before, Mrs. Vervain.
Mrs. Vervain thought a moment; then, "I'll tell you," she resumed.
"Oh—good night, Mr. Ferris," said Mrs. Vervain, giving her hand.
"Yes, I really think I am," replied Mrs. Vervain, playfully.
- any of several verbenaceous plants of the genus Verbena, having square stems and long slender spikes of purple, blue, or white flowers
C14: from Old French verveine, from Latin verbēna sacred bough; see verbena
Word Origin and History for vervain
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