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vervain

[vur-veyn]
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noun
  1. any plant belonging to the genus Verbena, of the verbena family, having elongated or flattened spikes of stalkless flowers.
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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

Historical Examples

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

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells

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

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells

  • Mrs. Vervain thought a moment; then, "I'll tell you," she resumed.

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells

  • "Oh—good night, Mr. Ferris," said Mrs. Vervain, giving her hand.

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells

  • "Yes, I really think I am," replied Mrs. Vervain, playfully.

    A Foregone Conclusion

    William Dean Howells


British Dictionary definitions for vervain

vervain

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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper