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colocynth

[kol-uh-sinth] /ˈkɒl ə sɪnθ/
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
1555-1565
1555-65; < Latin colocynthis < Greek kolokynthís, variant of kolókyntha bitter gourd, bitter cucumber
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for colocynth

colocynth

/ˈkɒləsɪnθ/
noun
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
German name bitter apple
Word Origin
C17: from Latin colocynthis, from Greek kolokunthis, from kolokunthē gourd, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for colocynth

bitter apple

(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.

Learn more about bitter apple with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Word Value for colocynth

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