oleander

oleander

[oh-lee-an-der, oh-lee-an-]
noun
a poisonous shrub, Nerium oleander, of the dogbane family, native to southern Eurasia, having evergreen leaves and showy clusters of pink, red, or white flowers, and widely cultivated as an ornamental.

Origin:
1540–50; < Medieval Latin oleander, oliandrum, obscurely akin to Late Latin laurandrum, perhaps a conflation of Latin laurus laurel and rhododendron rhododendron

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World English Dictionary
oleander (ˌəʊlɪˈændə)
 
n
Also called: rosebay a poisonous evergreen Mediterranean apocynaceous shrub or tree, Nerium oleander, with fragrant white, pink, or purple flowers
 
[C16: from Medieval Latin, variant of arodandrum, perhaps from Latin rhododendron]

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Word Origin & History

oleander
"rose bay," a poisonous evergreen Mediterranean shrub, c.1400, from M.L. oleander, probably (by infl. of L. olea "olive tree") from L.L. lorandrum, from L. rhododendron (see rhododendron), alt. by infl. of L. laurea "laurel," on resemblance of leaves. This round-about
etymology is supported by the Fr. word for it, laurier rose.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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