• synonyms


  1. Also called checkerberry. a small, creeping, evergreen shrub, Gaultheria procumbens, of the heath family, common in eastern North America, having white, nodding, bell-shaped flowers, a bright-red, berrylike fruit, and aromatic leaves that yield a volatile oil.
  2. the oil of this shrub; wintergreen oil; methyl salicylate.
  3. the flavor of oil of wintergreen or something flavored with it.
  4. any of various other plants of the same genus.
  5. any of various small evergreen herbs of the genera Pyrola and Chimaphila.
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Origin of wintergreen

1540–50; translation of Dutch wintergroen or German Wintergrün
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wintergreen

Historical Examples

  • Then she added, politely: "Only I guess these are wintergreen."


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • There is no other plant at all like this Wintergreen, so you will have no difficulty in recognising it.

  • The Wintergreen, or Checkerberry, used for flavoring, belongs to this genus.

  • That is, you call it wintergreen; but it is not that at all, it is birch.

    Little Mitchell

    Margaret W. Morley

  • Yes, we actually have fig-paste, spicy with wintergreen and black-birch!

British Dictionary definitions for wintergreen


  1. Also called: boxberry, checkerberry, teaberry, spiceberry, partridgeberry any of several evergreen ericaceous shrubs of the genus Gaultheria, esp G. procumbens, of E North America, which has white bell-shaped flowers and edible red berries
  2. oil of wintergreen an aromatic compound, formerly made from this and various other plants but now synthesized: used medicinally and for flavouring
  3. any of various plants of the genus Pyrola, such as P. minor (common wintergreen), of temperate and arctic regions, having rounded leaves and small pink globose flowers: family PyrolaceaeUsual US name: shinleaf
  4. any of several plants of the genera Orthilia and Moneses: family Pyrolaceae
  5. chickweed wintergreen a primulaceous plant, Trientalis europaea, of N Europe and N Asia, having white flowers and leaves arranged in a whorl
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Word Origin

C16: from Dutch wintergroen or German Wintergrün; see winter, green
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 wintergreen


type of plant, 1540s, from winter (n.) + green.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper