mistletoe

[mis-uhl-toh]
noun
1.
a European plant, Viscum album, having yellowish flowers and white berries, growing parasitically on various trees, used in Christmas decorations.
2.
any of several other related, similar plants, as Phoradendron serotinum, of the U.S.: the state flower of Oklahoma.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English mistelto, apparently back formation from Old English misteltān (mistel mistletoe, basil + tān twig), the -n being taken as plural ending; cognate with Old Norse mistilteinn

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mistletoe (ˈmɪsəlˌtəʊ)
 
n
1.  a Eurasian evergreen shrub, Viscum album, with leathery leaves, yellowish flowers, and waxy white berries: grows as a partial parasite on various trees: used as a Christmas decoration: family Viscaceae
2.  any of several similar and related American plants in the families Loranthaceae or Viscaceae, esp Phoradendron flavescens
3.  mistletoe cactus an epiphytic cactus, Rhipsalis cassytha, that grows in tropical America
 
[Old English misteltān, from mistel mistletoe + tān twig; related to Old Norse mistilteinn]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mistletoe
O.E. mistiltan, from mistel "mistletoe" (see missel) + tan "twig." Venerated by the Druids; the custom of hanging it at Christmas and kissing under it is mentioned by Washington Irving.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Up above her was a tree in a pearly cloud of mistletoe.
But a rotten few put their boot in kids' faces, drink on the job and philander with mommy under the mistletoe.
Mistletoe extracts are being studied as treatments for cancer.
Our native mistletoe is a teensy shrub whose seeds are launched with a powerful punch.
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