Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[sej] /sɛdʒ/
any rushlike or grasslike plant of the genus Carex, growing in wet places.
Compare sedge family.
any plant of the sedge family.
siege (def 5).
before 900; Middle English segge, Old English secg; akin to saw1; presumably so named from its sawlike edges Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sedges
  • The doe is totally unaware of us, contentedly plucking what appear to be deer cabbage leaves and stems of sedges.
  • sedges and willows were taking it over from the outside in, and the remnants of the old lodge made a mound in what was now meadow.
  • Areas of tussocks-sedges that grow in basketball-sized clumps-are particularly aggravating.
  • Notify a natural resources agency of any suspected handsome sedges.
  • The marshes are drained in spring and summer to promote growth of vegetation such as wild millet, sedges, and smartweed.
British Dictionary definitions for sedges


any grasslike cyperaceous plant of the genus Carex, typically growing on wet ground and having rhizomes, triangular stems, and minute flowers in spikelets
any other plant of the family Cyperaceae
Derived Forms
sedgy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English secg; related to Middle High German segge sedge, Old English sagusaw1
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 sedges



"coarse grass-like plant growing in wet places," Old English secg "sedge, reed, rush," from Proto-Germanic *sagjoz (cf. Low German segge, German Segge), probably from PIE root *sek- "to cut" (see section (n.) and cf. Old English secg, identical in form but meaning "sword;" and cf. German schwertel-gras "sedge" from schwert "sword"), on notion of plant with "cutting" leaves (cf. etymological sense of gladiolus). Old Irish seisg, Welsh hesgreed "rush" might represent a similar sense development from the same root. Often spelled seg, segg until present form triumphed early 1900s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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