rag weed

ragweed

[rag-weed]
noun
any of the composite plants of the genus Ambrosia, the airborne pollen of which is the most prevalent cause of autumnal hay fever, as the common North American species, A. trifida (great ragweed or giant ragweed) and A. artemisiifolia.

Origin:
1650–60; rag1 + weed1, so called from its ragged appearance

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World English Dictionary
ragweed (ˈræɡˌwiːd)
 
n
Also called: ambrosia any plant of the chiefly North American genus Ambrosia, such as A. artemisiifolia (common ragweed): family Asteraceae (composites). Their green tassel-like flowers produce large amounts of pollen, which causes hay fever

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ragweed
1790, from ragged + + weed; so called from shape of the leaves. Applied to a different plant, ragwort, from 1650s. Ragwort itself is attested from mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ragweed rag·weed (rāg'wēd')
n.
Any of various weeds of the genus Ambrosia having small greenish unisexual flower heads and producing abundant pollen that is one of the chief causes of hay fever.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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