1. The fabled food of the gods (as nectar was their drink), which conferred immortality upon those who partook of it. An unguent of the gods. "His dewy locks distilled ambrosia." (Milton)

2. A perfumed unguent, salve, or draught; something very pleasing to the taste or smell.

3. Formerly, a kind of fragrant plant; now (Bot), a genus of plants, including some coarse and worthless weeds, called ragweed, hogweed, etc.

Origin: L. Ambrosia, Gr, properly fem. Of, fr. Immortal, divine; priv. + mortal (because it was supposed to confer immortality on those who partook of it). Stands for, akin to Skr. Mrita, L. Mortuus, dead, and to E. Mortal.

(01 Mar 1998)

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