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late 14c., from late Old English malwe, from Latin malva "mallows," from a pre-Latin Mediterranean language. The same lost word apparently yielded Greek malakhe "mallow."
occurs only in Job 30:4 (R.V., "saltwort"). The word so rendered (malluah, from melah, "salt") most probably denotes the Atriplex halimus of Linnaeus, a species of sea purslane found on the shores of the Dead Sea, as also of the Mediterranean, and in salt marshes. It is a tall shrubby orach, growing to the height sometimes of 10 feet. Its buds and leaves, with those of other saline plants, are eaten by the poor in Palestine.