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[jin-seng] /ˈdʒɪn sɛŋ/
any of several plants of the genus Panax, especially P. pseudoginseng, of eastern Asia, or P. qinquefolius, of North America, having an aromatic root used medicinally.
the root itself.
a preparation made from it.
Also, genseng.
Origin of ginseng
1645-55; < Chinese (Wade-Giles) jên2 shên1, (Pinyin) rén-shēn, equivalent to rén man + shēn name for a kind of herb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ginseng
  • Among others at risk: wild ginseng, orchids and the crocodile newt.
  • The restaurant offers unique flavors, from blackberry and raspberry sushi, to ginseng tuna sashimi.
  • The beverage is not alcohol, though, but a ginseng-based energy drink.
  • ginseng's green leaves and shiny berries light up the shady forest floor.
  • Information for ginseng dealers, harvesters and growers.
  • The history of human interaction with ginseng lurks in the language of the land.
British Dictionary definitions for ginseng


either of two araliaceous plants, Panax schinseng of China or P. quinquefolius of North America, whose forked aromatic roots are used medicinally
the root of either of these plants or a substance obtained from the roots, believed to possess stimulant, tonic, and energy-giving properties
Word Origin
C17: from Mandarin Chinese jen shen, from jen man (from a resemblance of the roots to human legs) + shen ginseng
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 ginseng

1690s, from Chinese jen-shen. First element means "man," but the meaning of the second is obscure.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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