- 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
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.