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[na-stur-shuh m, nuh-] /næˈstɜr ʃəm, nə-/
any plant of the genus Tropaeolum, cultivated for its showy, usually orange, red, or yellow flowers or for its fruit, which is pickled and used like capers.
Origin of nasturtium
1560-70; < Latin nāsturtium, nāsturcium a kind of cress, taken to mean, perhaps by folk etymology, something that wrings the nose (referring to its acrid smell). See nose, tort, -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for nasturtium


any of various plants of the genus Tropaeolum, esp T. major, having round leaves and yellow, red, or orange trumpet-shaped spurred flowers: family Tropaeolaceae
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: kind of cress, from nāsus nose + tortus twisted, from torquēre to twist, distort; so called because the pungent smell causes one to wrinkle one's nose
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 nasturtium

mid-12c., "plant of the mustard family, like watercress," from Latin nasturtium "cress;" the popular etymology explanation of the name (Pliny) is that it is from Latin *nasitortium, literally "nose-twist," from nasus "nose" (see nose (n.)) + past participle of torquere "to twist" (see thwart); the plant so called for its pungent odor. Modern application to a South American trailing plant with orange flowers first recorded 1704.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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