1. <botany> A composite plant (Artemisia Absinthium), having a bitter and slightly aromatic taste, formerly used as a tonic and a vermifuge, and to protect woolen garments from moths. It gives the peculiar flavour to the cordial called absinthe. The volatile oil is a narcotic poison. The term is often extended to other species of the same genus.

2. Anything very bitter or grievous; bitterness. "Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood." (Deut. Xxix.

<botany> 18) Roman wormwood, a variety of the common hare (Lepus timidus); so named from its colour.

Origin: AS. Wermd, akin to OHG. Wermuota, wormuota, G. Wermuth, wermut; of uncertain origin.

(01 Mar 1998)

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