soapwort

[sohp-wurt, -wawrt]
noun
a plant, Saponaria officinalis, of the pink family, whose leaves are used for cleansing.
Also called bouncing Bet, bouncing Bess.


Origin:
1540–50; soap + wort2

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To soapwort
Collins
World English Dictionary
soapwort (ˈsəʊpˌwɜːt)
 
n
Also called: bouncing Bet a Eurasian caryophyllaceous plant, Saponaria officinalis, having rounded clusters of fragrant pink or white flowers and leaves that were formerly used as a soap substitute

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

soapwort

any of several plants of the genus Saponaria (about 40 species), in the pink family (Caryophyllaceae). While most are weedy, a few are cultivated, especially the trailing species S. ocymoides, with several varieties having pink to deep-red flower clusters. Bouncing Bet (S. officinalis), reaching to a height of 1 metre (3 feet), is widely naturalized in eastern North America. Its roots have been used medicinally, and its sap is a substitute for soap.

Learn more about soapwort with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
As spring turns into summer, pink blooms appear on the soapwort.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature