Definitions

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

  • n. An herb (Fumaria officinalis) native to Eurasia, having finely divided leaves and small, spurred, purplish flowers. Also called earth smoke.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant of the taxonomic genus Fumaria, which are annual herbaceous flowering plants in the family Fumariaceae, native to temperate Europe and Asia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The common uame of several species of the genus Fumaria, annual herbs of the Old World, with finely dissected leaves and small flowers in dense racemes or spikes. F. officinalis is a common species, and was formerly used as an antiscorbutic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The common name for species of the genus Fumaria.
  • n. A smoking-room.
  • n. The hollow-wort, Capnoides cavum.

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

  • n. delicate European herb with greyish leaves and spikes of purplish flowers; formerly used medicinally

Etymologies

Middle English fumetere, from Old French fumeterre, from Medieval Latin fūmus terrae : Latin fūmus, smoke + Latin terrae, genitive of terra, dry land, earth; see ters- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Bird's-foot trefoil and bugloss, poppies and cornflowers, fumitory and fleabane – there were about 20 species all in bloom and, aside from the great surge of colour, the highlight for me was the bumblebees, mainly common carder and red-tailed bumblebees, that trafficked through the flowers all day long.

    Country diary: Claxton, Norfolk

  • * I learned that Uncle Jean-Claude collected fumitory as a kid, selling it for centimes to the pharmacist, who, in turn, made up potions that cured everything from conjunctivitis to evil spirits.

    vivace - French Word-A-Day

  • Helleboratus major and minor in Quercetan, and Syrupus Genistae for hypochondriacal melancholy in the same author, compound syrup of succory, of fumitory, polypody, &c.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • As syrup of borage (there is a famous syrup of borage highly commended by Laurentius to this purpose in his tract of melancholy), de pomis of king Sabor, now obsolete, of thyme and epithyme, hops, scolopendria, fumitory, maidenhair, bizantine, &c.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • No help for it: this would be a great day for collecting rare specimens of variegated shepherd's purse or green fumitory.

    In the Garden of Iden

  • The climbing fumitory comes up of itself from seed every year, and is now running over bushes, stakes, and strings, and is full of fern-like leaves and flesh-colored flowers.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 299, September 24, 1881

  • Breakfast under the same tree, sitting on the same patch of rose-coloured flowers -- a sort of fumitory (_Corydalus rutaefolia_) -- followed by another nine-hour bivouac, brought us to 5 P.M. and the extreme limit of boredom, when lo! the shikaris burst upon us in a state of frenzied excitement to announce the bear!

    A Holiday in the Happy Valley with Pen and Pencil

  • Common weeds of cultivation are Fumaria parviflora, a near relation of the English fumitory, Silene conoidea, and two Spergulas (Caryophyllaceae), and Sisymbrium Irio

    The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir

  • Certainly few woodland dwellers have more delicately beautiful foliage than the fumitory tribe.

    Wild Flowers Worth Knowing

  • Gathered quite a pretty bunch of flowers; asters, everlastings, golden-rods, bird-bell, innocence, pink and yellow fumitory, and a bunch of white blackberry flowers, blooming out of season.

    Rural Hours

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