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patchouli

[pach-oo-lee, puh-choo-lee] /ˈpætʃ ʊ li, pəˈtʃu li/
noun
1.
a plant, Pogostemon cablin, of tropical Asia, that yields a fragrant oil (patchouli oil) used in the manufacture of perfumes.
2.
a penetrating perfume made from this oil.
Also, pachouli, patchouly.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45; < Tamil paccuḷi
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for patchouli
  • Lavender, rosemary and patchouli are perfumes obtained from members of this family.
  • The book smells a little too much of musk and patchouli.
  • patchouli, with its camphoraceous smell, is commonly found in these perfumes.
British Dictionary definitions for patchouli

patchouli

/ˈpætʃʊlɪ; pəˈtʃuːlɪ/
noun
1.
any of several Asiatic trees of the genus Pogostemon, the leaves of which yield a heavy fragrant oil: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
2.
the perfume made from this oil
Word Origin
C19: from Tamil paccilai, from paccu green + ilai leaf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for patchouli
n.

perfume made from an Indian plant of the mint family, 1845, from the native name for the plant in Madras, said to be from Tamil pachchai "green" + ilai "leaf." The form of the word appears French, but this has not been explained and the record of it in English predates that in French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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