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[sal-suh-fee] /ˈsæl sə fi/
noun, plural salsifies.
a purple-flowered, composite plant, Tragopogon porrifolius, whose root has an oyster-like flavor and is used as a culinary vegetable.
Origin of salsify
1690-1700; < French salsifis, variant of sassefy, sassef(r)ique < Italian sassef(r)ica) < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for salsify
Historical Examples
  • This method is especially satisfactory with new potatoes and with such vegetables as carrots, parsnips, salsify, and turnips.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 2 Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
  • salsify must not be left exposed to the air, or it will turn blackish.

  • salsify is a biennial, and if the roots are not dug before the second season they will throw up stems and produce seed.

  • "Well, the girl ought to pay for the waste she has occasioned," said Mr. salsify, gruffly.

    Eventide Effie Afton
  • The same is true of parsnips, salsify, horse-radish and some of the other root crops.

  • Drain off the water and cut the salsify in pieces half an inch long.

    Housekeeping in Old Virginia Marion Cabell Tyree
  • The thistles were so large as to resemble young palm-trees, and the salsify of our gardens grew rank and wild.

    The Lands of the Saracen Bayard Taylor
  • Take it up when done, drain, and cut the salsify into pieces all the same size.

    The Story of Crisco Marion Harris Neil
  • It is difficult to know if the ancients cultivated the salsify or gathered it wild in the country.

    Origin of Cultivated Plants Alphonse De Candolle
  • When thus prepared, salsify lends itself to the same forms of preparation as do the other root vegetables.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 2 Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
British Dictionary definitions for salsify


noun (pl) -fies
Also called oyster plant, vegetable oyster. a Mediterranean plant, Tragopogon porrifolius, having grasslike leaves, purple flower heads, and a long white edible taproot: family Asteraceae (composites)
the root of this plant, which tastes of oysters and is eaten as a vegetable
Word Origin
C17: from French salsifis, from Italian sassefrica, from Late Latin saxifrica, from Latin saxum rock + fricāre to rub
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 salsify

biennial plant, 1710, from French salsifis, earlier sercifi, sassify (16c.), probably from Italian erba salsifica, from Old Italian salsifica, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Latin sal "salt" + fricare "to rub."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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