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quassia

[kwosh-uh, -ee-uh] /ˈkwɒʃ ə, -i ə/
noun
1.
a shrub or small tree, Quassia amara, of tropical America, having pinnate leaves, showy red flowers, and wood with a bitter taste.
Compare quassia family.
2.
any of several other trees having bitter-tasting wood.
3.
Also called bitterwood. Chemistry, Pharmacology. a prepared form of the heartwood of any of these trees, used as an insecticide and in medicine as a tonic to dispel intestinal worms.
Origin
1755-1765
1755-65; < Neo-Latin, named after Quassi, 18th-century slave in Dutch Guiana who discovered its medicinal properties; see -ia
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for quassia

quassia

/ˈkwɒʃə/
noun
1.
any tree of the tropical American simaroubaceous genus Quassia, having bitter bark and wood
2.
the bark and wood of Quassia amara and of a related tree, Picrasma excelsa, used in furniture making
3.
a bitter compound extracted from this bark and wood, formerly used as a tonic and anthelmintic, now used in insecticides
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin, named after Graman Quassi, a slave who discovered (1730) the medicinal value of the root
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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16
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