American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several plants of the widespread genus Stachys in the mint family, especially S. officinalis, native chiefly to Europe and having spikes of usually reddish-purple flowers. It was once popular in herbal medicine. Also called woundwort.
- n. The lousewort.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The popular name of Stachys Betonica or Betonica officinalis, a European labiate plant, growing in woods. It is sometimes used to dye wool, producing a dark-yellow color. It is usually distinguished from
water-betony(an aquatic plant, Scrophularia aquatica) as wood-betony, which name is also given in the United States to Pedicularis Canadensis, and sometimes to Lycopus Virginicus. The Veronica serpyllifolia is called Paul's betony, because described as a betony by an old herbalist, Paulus Ægineta.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A plant of the genus Betonica (Linn.).
- Middle English, from Old French betoine, from Medieval Latin betōnia, both from Latin vettōnica, probably from Vettōnēs, an ancient Iberian tribe. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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“I followed the path beside ancient overgrown hedges, heavy with elder blossom and sheltering patches of lady's bedstraw and betony, down to the banks of the river Wear where tree planting began this spring in lower-lying fields.”
““Bet it is just wintergreen, feverfew, and betony, mixed with something sweet—and now he will make a fortune,” Teddy said, reading the account in the Gazette.”
“Wet-kneed, we walked by pastures filled with the white froth of meadowsweet and river-bank flora of lady's bedstraw, betony, devil's bit scabious, greater burnet and eyebright, kneeling several times to store memories of the scent of the last of the fragrant orchids.”
“Cushions of thrift and bladder campion on old walls have faded, but purple spikes of betony and the white of yarrow and sea carrot enliven vegetation along the coastal path.”
“I thought it very unlikely, for instance, that bloodwort would be effective in making warts grow on a rival's nose, and I strongly doubted whether wood betony was useful in transforming toads into pigeons.”
“You were saying yesterday to Colum that ye needed betony and some odd bits of herbs?”
“Mrs. Fitz pointed out foxglove, purslane, and betony, along with a few I did not recognize.”
“A garland of betony worn at night was a specific against phantasma or delusions and a head poultice of crushed teasel a spiky plant with hooked spines would relieve the symptoms of the frenzy.20 Another popular belief was that a rosted Mous, eaten, doth heale Franticke persons.21”
“Antonius Musa, that renowned physician to Caesar Augustus, in his book which he writ of the virtues of betony, cap.”
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