wormwood

[ wurm-wood ]
/ ˈwɜrmˌwʊd /

noun

any composite herb or low shrub of the genus Artemisia.
a bitter, aromatic plant, A. absinthium, of the Old World, used as a vermifuge and a tonic, and as an ingredient in absinthe.
something bitter, grievous, or extremely unpleasant.

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Origin of wormwood

1350–1400; late Middle English wormwode (see worm, wood1); replacing Middle English wermode,Old English wermōd; cognate with German Wermut;see vermouth
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for wormwood

wormwood
/ (ˈwɜːmˌwʊd) /

noun

Also called: absinthe any of various plants of the chiefly N temperate genus Artemisia, esp A. absinthium, a European plant yielding a bitter extract used in making absinthe: family Asteraceae (composites)
something that embitters, such as a painful experience

Word Origin for wormwood

C15: changed (through influence of worm and wood 1) from Old English wormōd, wermōd; related to Old High German werrnuata, German Wermut; see vermouth
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