- a shrub, Hamamelis virginiana, of eastern North America, having toothed, egg-shaped leaves and small, yellow flowers.Compare witch hazel family.
- a liquid extraction from the leaves or bark of this plant mixed with water and alcohol, used externally as a liniment for inflammations and bruises and as an astringent.
Origin of witch hazel
Examples from the Web for witch hazel
Historical Examples of witch hazel
“You can get the witch-hazel and bathe this lamp of mine,” grimly.The Place of Honeymoons
The Witch-hazel you buy in the drugstores, is made out of the bark of this tree.
In the Witch-hazel has been found a soothing balm for many an ache and pain.
You ought to see the witch-hazel bush in blossom late in November.The Fall of the Year
Dallas Lore Sharp
October is not the month of flowers, even if it does claim the witch-hazel for its own.Wild Life Near Home
Dallas Lore Sharp
- any of several trees and shrubs of the genus Hamamelis, esp H. virginiana, of North America, having ornamental yellow flowers and medicinal properties: family Hamamelidaceae
- an astringent medicinal solution containing an extract of the bark and leaves of H. virginiana, applied to treat bruises, inflammation, etc
Word Origin and History for witch hazel
1540s, probably from Old English wice "wych-elm" (from wican "to bend") + hæsel, used for any bush of the pine family. The North American bush, from which a soothing lotion is made, was so called from 1670s.
- Any of several deciduous shrubs or small trees of the genus Hamamelis, especially H. virginiana, of eastern North America, having yellow flowers that bloom in late autumn or winter.
- An alcoholic solution containing an extract of the bark and leaves of this plant, applied externally as a mild astringent.