colocynth

colocynth

[kol-uh-sinth]
noun
1.
a plant, Citrullus colocynthis, belonging to the gourd family, of the warmer parts of Asia, the Mediterranean region, etc., bearing a round, yellow or green fruit with a bitter pulp.
2.
the fruit of this plant.
3.
Pharmacology. the drug derived from the pulp of the unripe but full-grown fruit of this plant, used in medicine chiefly as a purgative.
Also called bitter apple (for defs 1, 2).


Origin:
1555–65; < Latin colocynthis < Greek kolokynthís, variant of kolókyntha bitter gourd, bitter cucumber

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World English Dictionary
colocynth (ˈkɒləsɪnθ)
 
n
1.  a cucurbitaceous climbing plant, Citrullus colocynthis, of the Mediterranean region and Asia, having bitter-tasting fruit
2.  the dried fruit pulp of this plant, used as a strong purgative
 
[C17: from Latin colocynthis, from Greek kolokunthis, from kolokunthē gourd, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

colocynth

(Citrullus colocynthis), hairy-stemmed climbing vine, of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), native to the Mediterranean region. The colocynth has small, pale greenish yellow flowers, forked tendrils, hairy, deeply cut leaves, and rounded yellow or green fruits that have a bitter taste. The fruits yield a purgative and a derivative that is used against rodents.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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