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Word of the Day
Saturday, April 18, 2015

Definitions for asafetida

  1. a soft, brown, lumpy gum resin having a bitter, acrid taste and an obnoxious odor, obtained from the roots of several Near Eastern plants belonging to the genus Ferula, of the parsley family: formerly used in medicine as a carminative and antispasmodic. Also, asafoetida, asfetida.

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Citations for asafetida
Roses and electric shocks, the khaki of Deltas and a whiff of asafoetida—wedded indissolubly before the child can speak. But wordless conditioning is crude and wholesale... Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1932
We may be able to spare your countrymen some asafoetida. There is nothing more comforting to a seaman with the megrims, than asafoetida. Patrick O'Brian, Desolation Island, 1978
Origin of asafetida
1350-1400
Asafetida comes from the Medieval Latin term asafoetida, which in turn is related to the Persian term āzā, meaning "mastic; gum."