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[hem-lok] /ˈhɛmˌlɒk/
a poisonous plant, Conium maculatum, of the parsley family, having purple-spotted stems, finely divided leaves, and umbels of small white flowers, used medicinally as a powerful sedative.
a poisonous drink made from this plant.
any of various other plants, especially of the genus Cicuta, as the water hemlock.
Also called hemlock spruce. any of several coniferous trees of the genus Tsuga, native to the U.S., characterized by a pyramidal manner of growth.
the soft, light wood of a hemlock tree, used in making paper, in the construction of buildings, etc.
Origin of hemlock
before 900; Middle English hemlok, humlok, Old English hymlic, hemlic; perhaps akin to Old English hymele hop plant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hemlock
  • He wouldn't be called nurturant or sensitive-but until the hemlock, he did survive.
  • Spruce and hemlock form a dense green canopy above us.
  • Avoid hemlock, whose needles don't hold after cutting.
  • We require an infusion of hemlock, spruce or arbor vitae in our tea.
  • He accepted the sentence of the court and committed suicide by drinking a cup of hemlock.
  • Maybe people would take me for a hemlock, or a tamarack.
  • In my memory, beyond the shadows of the hemlock the spring was always in a ray of sunlight.
  • It is said that those who eat hemlock can see subjective things as objects.
  • None of the recurrent enemies had the fortune to discover the hemlock, which could forever be rid of them.
  • Stands of old-growth spruce, red cedar, and hemlock crowd deserted headlands.
British Dictionary definitions for hemlock


an umbelliferous poisonous Eurasian plant, Conium maculatum, having finely divided leaves, spotted stems, and small white flowers US name poison hemlock See also water hemlock
a poisonous drug derived from this plant
Also called hemlock spruce. any coniferous tree of the genus Tsuga, of North America and E Asia, having short flat needles: family Pinaceae See also western hemlock
the wood of any of these trees, used for lumber and as a source of wood pulp
Word Origin
Old English hymlic; perhaps related to hymele hop plant, Middle Low German homele, Old Norwegian humli, Old Slavonic chǔmelï
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 hemlock

a poisonous plant, Old English (Kentish) hemlic, earlier hymlice, hymblice; of unknown origin. Liberman suggests from root hem- "poison," perhaps with the plant name suffix -ling or -ig. As the name of the poison derived from the plant, c.1600. The North American tree so called from 1776, from resemblance of its leaves to those of the plant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hemlock in the Bible

(1.) Heb. rosh (Hos. 10:4; rendered "gall" in Deut. 29:18; 32:32; Ps. 69:21; Jer. 9:15; 23:15; "poison," Job 20:16; "venom," Deut. 32:33). "Rosh is the name of some poisonous plant which grows quickly and luxuriantly; of a bitter taste, and therefore coupled with wormwood (Deut. 29:18; Lam. 3:19). Hence it would seem to be not the hemlock cicuta, nor the colocynth or wild gourd, nor lolium darnel, but the poppy so called from its heads" (Gesenius, Lex.). (2.) Heb. la'anah, generally rendered "wormwood" (q.v.), Deut. 29:18, Text 17; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15; 23:15. Once it is rendered "hemlock" (Amos 6:12; R.V., "wormwood"). This Hebrew word is from a root meaning "to curse," hence the accursed.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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