Witch-hazel

witch hazel

[wich hey-zuhl]
noun
1.
a shrub, Hamamelis virginiana, of eastern North America, having toothed, egg-shaped leaves and small, yellow flowers. Compare witch hazel family.
2.
a liquid extraction from the leaves or bark of this plant mixed with water and alcohol, used externally as a liniment for inflammations and bruises and as an astringent.

Origin:
1535–45; witch, variant of wych (see wych elm)

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World English Dictionary
witch hazel or wych-hazel
 
n
1.  any of several trees and shrubs of the genus Hamamelis, esp H. virginiana, of North America, having ornamental yellow flowers and medicinal properties: family Hamamelidaceae
2.  an astringent medicinal solution containing an extract of the bark and leaves of H. virginiana, applied to treat bruises, inflammation, etc
 
wych-hazel or wych-hazel
 
n

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

witch hazel
1540s, probably from O.E. wice "wych-elm" (from wican "to bend") + hæsel, used for any bush of the pine family. The North American bush, from which a soothing lotion is made, was so called from 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

witch hazel n.

  1. Any of several deciduous shrubs or small trees of the genus Hamamelis, especially H. virginiana, of eastern North America, having yellow flowers that bloom in late autumn or winter.

  2. An alcoholic solution containing an extract of the bark and leaves of this plant, applied externally as a mild astringent.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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