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[kres] /krɛs/
any of various plants of the mustard family, especially the watercress, having pungent-tasting leaves often used for salad and as a garnish.
any of various similar plants.
Origin of cress
before 900; Middle English cresse, Old English cress(a), cresse; cognate with Dutch kers, German Kresse
Related forms
cressy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for cress


any of various plants of the genera Lepidium, Cardamine, Arabis, etc, having pungent-tasting leaves often used in salads and as a garnish: family Brassicaceae (crucifers) See also watercress, garden cress
Word Origin
Old English cressa; related to Old High German cresso cress, kresan to crawl
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cress

Old English cresse, originally cærse, from Proto-Germanic *krasjon- (cf. Middle Low German kerse, karse; Middle Dutch kersse; Old High German kresso, German Kresse), from PIE root *gras- "to devour" (see gastric). It underwent a metathesis similar to that of grass. French cresson, Italian crescione are Germanic loan-words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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