Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A European perennial herb (Alkanna tinctoria) having cymes of blue flowers and red roots.
  • n. The root of this plant or the red dye extracted from the root.
  • n. Any of various hairy plants of the Eurasian genus Anchusa, having blue or violet flowers grouped on elongated cymes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alkanna tinctoria, a plant whose root is used as a dye.
  • n. The dyeing matter extracted from the plant, giving a deep red colour.
  • n. A boraginaceous herb (Alkanna tinctoria) yielding a dye; orchanet.
  • n. The similar plant Anchusa officinalis; bugloss.
  • n. The American puccoon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A dyeing matter extracted from the roots of Alkanna tinctoria, which gives a fine deep red color.
  • n.
  • n. A boraginaceous herb (Alkanna tinctoria) yielding the dye; orchanet.
  • n. The similar plant Anchusa officinalis; bugloss; also, the American puccoon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The root of a boraginaceous herb, Alkanna (Anchusa) tinctoria, yielding a red dye, for which the plant is cultivated in central and southern Europe.
  • n. The plant which yields the dye, Alkanna tinctoria. Also called orcanet and Spanish bugloss.
  • n. A name of similar plants of other genera.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. perennial or biennial herb cultivated for its delicate usually blue flowers

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old Spanish alcaneta, diminutive of alcana, henna, from Medieval Latin alchanna, from Arabic al-ḥinnā', the henna : al-, the + ḥinnā', henna; see henna.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Diminutive of Spanish alcana, alhea. (Wiktionary)

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