buckthorn

[buhk-thawrn]
noun
1.
any of several, sometimes thorny trees or shrubs belonging to the genus Rhamnus, especially R. frangula, the bark of which is used in medicine. Compare buckthorn family.
2.
a tree or shrub belonging to the genus Bumelia, of the sapodilla family, especially B. lycioides, a thorny tree having elliptic leaves and large clusters of white flowers, common in the southern and part of the central U.S.

Origin:
1570–80; buck1 + thorn, rendering Neo-Latin cervi spina

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World English Dictionary
buckthorn (ˈbʌkˌθɔːn)
 
n
See also sea buckthorn any of several thorny small-flowered shrubs of the genus Rhamnus, esp the Eurasian species R. cathartica, whose berries were formerly used as a purgative: family Rhamnaceae
 
[C16: from buck1 (from the spiny branches, imagined as resembling antlers) + thorn]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

buckthorn

any of about 100 species of shrubs or trees belonging to the genus Rhamnus, family Rhamnaceae, native to temperate areas in the Northern Hemisphere. The cascara buckthorn (R. purshiana) is the source of cascara sagrada, a cathartic drug.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Buckthorn seedlings appear vulnerable to fire, perhaps due to their poorly established root structure.
Common buckthorn readily invades natural communities.
Buckthorn may also offer birds less in the way of a nesting structure.
Glossy buckthorn and other invasive shrubs are moving into this beautiful wet meadow.
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