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hemlock

[hem-lok] /ˈhɛmˌlɒk/
noun
1.
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.
2.
a poisonous drink made from this plant.
3.
any of various other plants, especially of the genus Cicuta, as the water hemlock.
4.
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.
5.
the soft, light wood of a hemlock tree, used in making paper, in the construction of buildings, etc.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English hemlok, humlok, Old English hymlic, hemlic; perhaps akin to Old English hymele hop plant
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hemlock-spruce

hemlock

/ˈhɛmˌlɒk/
noun
1.
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
2.
a poisonous drug derived from this plant
3.
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
4.
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
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Word Origin and History for hemlock-spruce

hemlock

n.

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-spruce 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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