Definitions

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

  • n. Any of several tropical American plants, as in the genus Lonchocarpus, that contain a substance that can stun or paralyze fish.
  • n. Any of several Mexican plants of the genus Dioscorea having a large, inedible root that yields an extract used as a raw material for synthetic steroid hormones.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a West Indian shrub or small tree (Jacquinia keyensis) having leathery saponaceous leaves and extremely hard wood.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name in Porto Rico, Cuba, and other Spanish-speaking countries of a number of shrubs and trees bearing poisonous seeds.

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

  • n. West Indian shrub or small tree having leathery saponaceous leaves and extremely hard wood

Etymologies

American Spanish, from Spanish barbasco, mullein, alteration (possibly influenced by barba, beard) of verbasco, from Latin verbascum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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