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saxifrage

[sak-suh-frij] /ˈsæk sə frɪdʒ/
noun
1.
any plant of the genus Saxifraga, certain species of which grow wild in the clefts of rocks, other species of which are cultivated for their flowers.
Compare saxifrage family.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin saxifraga (herba) stone-breaking (herb), equivalent to saxi-, combining form of saxum stone + -fraga, feminine of -fragus breaking; see fragile
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for saxifrage

saxifrage

/ˈsæksɪˌfreɪdʒ/
noun
1.
any saxifragaceous plant of the genus Saxifraga, characterized by smallish white, yellow, purple, or pink flowers
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin saxifraga, literally: rock-breaker (probably alluding to its ability to dissolve kidney stones), from Latin saxum rock + frangere to break
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for saxifrage
n.

type of plant typically found in cold regions, late 14c., from Old French saxifrage (13c.), from Late Latin saxifraga, name of a kind of herb, from Latin saxifraga herba, literally "a rock-breaking herb," from saxifragus "stonebreaking," from saxum "stone, rock" + frag-, root of frangere "to break" (see fraction). Pliny says the plant was so called because it was given to dissolve gallstones, but a more likely explanation is that it was so called because it grows in crevices in rocks. (Latin used different words for "stone" and "gallstone" -- saxum and calculus). Related: Saxifragaceous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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