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[suhth -ern-woo d] /ˈsʌð ərnˌwʊd/
a woody-stemmed wormwood, Artemisia abrotanum, of southern Europe, having aromatic, finely dissected leaves.
Also called old man.
Origin of southernwood
before 1000; Middle English southernwode, Old English sūtherne wudu. See southern, wood1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for southernwood
Historical Examples
  • The southernwood had strong medicinal qualities, and was used to cure "vanityes of the head."

    Home Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • Phoebe turned away with a little toss of her head, and he turned, too, breaking a sprig of southernwood.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • He could have a piece off the root, just as well as not; only she didn't s'pose he cared for such common doin's as southernwood.

    Narcissa, or the Road to Rome Laura E. Richards
  • The garden was fair in the morning, and there in the road he stood Beyond the crimson daisies and the bush of southernwood.

    Poems by the Way William Morris
  • The Erba Bianca is a plant like southernwood, presenting a curious hoar-frosted appearance as its leaves are stirred by the wind.

  • southernwood bears a balmier breath than is ever borne by many blossoms, for it is sweet with the fragrance of memory.

    Old-Time Gardens Alice Morse Earle
  • John Trueman's cottage was a neat little place, standing in a garden, adorned with pinks and rosemary and southernwood.

    The Fairchild Family Mary Martha Sherwood
  • Pliny did not disdain to counsel putting southernwood under the pillow to make one dream of a lover.

    Old-Time Gardens Alice Morse Earle
  • A sprig of southernwood in an unmarried girl's shoe would bring to her the sight of her husband-to-be before night.

    Old-Time Gardens Alice Morse Earle
  • Clothes were stored in a chest, sometimes with sweet-smelling herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and southernwood.

British Dictionary definitions for southernwood


an aromatic shrubby wormwood, Artemisia abrotanum, of S Europe, having finely dissected leaves and small drooping heads of yellowish flowers Also called old man, lad's love
Word Origin
Old English. See southern, wood
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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