juniper

juniper

[joo-nuh-per]
noun
1.
any evergreen, coniferous shrub or tree of the genus Juniperus, especially J. communis, having cones that resemble dark-blue or blackish berries used in flavoring gin and in medicine as a diuretic.
2.
a tree mentioned in the Old Testament, said to be the retem.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English junipere < Latin jūniperus

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
juniper (ˈdʒuːnɪpə)
 
n
1.  See also red cedar any coniferous shrub or small tree of the genus Juniperus, of the N hemisphere, having purple berry-like cones. The cones of J. communis (common or dwarf juniper) are used as a flavouring in making gin
2.  any of various similar trees, grown mainly as ornamentals
3.  Old Testament one of the trees used in the building of Solomon's temple (I Kings 6:15, 34) and for shipbuilding (Ezekiel 27:5)
 
[C14: from Latin jūniperus, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

juniper
"evergreen shrub," late 14c., from L. juniperus (cf. Fr. genièvre, Sp. enebro, Port. zimbro, It. ginepro), of uncertain origin, perhaps related to junco "reed." Applied to various N.Amer. species from 1748. In the Bible, it renders Heb. rethem, the name of a white-flowered shrub unrelated to the
European evergreen.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Juniper definition


(Heb. rothem), called by the Arabs retem, and known as Spanish broom; ranked under the genus genista. It is a desert shrub, and abounds in many parts of Palestine. In the account of his journey from Akabah to Jerusalem, Dr. Robinson says: "This is the largest and most conspicuous shrub of these deserts, growing thickly in the water-courses and valleys. Our Arabs always selected the place of encampment, if possible, in a spot where it grew, in order to be sheltered by it at night from the wind; and during the day, when they often went on in advance of the camels, we found them not unfrequently sitting or sleeping under a bush of retem to shelter them from the sun. It was in this very desert, a day's journey from Beersheba, that the prophet Elijah lay down and slept beneath the same shrub" (1 Kings 19:4, 5). It afforded material for fuel, and also in cases of extremity for human food (Ps. 120:4; Job 30:4). One of the encampments in the wilderness of Paran is called Rithmah, i.e., "place of broom" (Num. 33:18). "The Bedawin of Sinai still burn this very plant into a charcoal which throws out the most intense heat."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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