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woad

[wohd] /woʊd/
noun
1.
a European plant, Isatis tinctoria, of the mustard family, formerly cultivated for a blue dye extracted from its leaves.
2.
the dye extracted from this plant.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English wode, Old English wād (cognate with German Waid); akin to French guède, Medieval Latin waizda < Germanic
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for woad
  • Spring herbicide applications were more effective for dyer's woad control compared to fall applications.
  • If you want to conserve water, be concerned about tamarisk and dyer's woad.
British Dictionary definitions for woad

woad

/wəʊd/
noun
1.
a European plant, Isatis tinctoria, formerly cultivated for its leaves, which yield a blue dye: family Brassicaceae (crucifers) See also dyer's-weed, dyer's rocket
2.
the dye obtained from this plant, used esp by the ancient Britons, as a body dye
Word Origin
Old English wād; related to Old High German weit; Middle Dutch wēd, Latin vitrum
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 woad
n.

Old English wad, from Proto-Germanic *waido- (cf. Danish vaid, Old Frisian wed, Middle Dutch wede, Dutch wede, Old High German weit, German Waid "woad"), probably cognate with Latin vitrium "glass" (see vitreous). Old type of blue dye processed from plant leaves, since superseded by indigo. French guède, Italian guado are Germanic loan-words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for woad

(Isatis tinctoria), biennial or perennial herb, in a genus of about 80 species in the mustard family (Brassicaceae), formerly grown as a source of the blue dye indigo and now sometimes cultivated for its small, four-petalled yellow flowers. It is a summer-flowering native of Eurasia, now naturalized in southeastern North America. Woad reaches 90 cm (3 feet) and produces clusters of dangling, winged, oval, single-seeded fruits. The hairy stem leaves have arrow-shaped bases; the long basal leaves are downy and lance shaped. The ground and dried leaves, when wetted and fermented, produce indigotin.

Learn more about woad with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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