from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of several plants of the genus Panax, especially P. pseudoginseng of eastern Asia or P. quinquefolius of North America, having small greenish flowers grouped in umbels, palmately compound leaves, and forked roots believed to have medicinal properties.
- n. The roots of these plants.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of several plants, of the genus Panax, having forked roots supposed to have medicinal properties.
- n. The root of such a plant, or an extract of these roots.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A plant of the genus Aralia, the root of which is highly valued as a medicine among the Chinese. The Chinese plant (Aralia Schinseng) has become so rare that the American (A. quinquefolia) has largely taken its place, and its root is now an article of export from America to China. The root, when dry, is of a yellowish white color, with a sweetness in the taste somewhat resembling that of licorice, combined with a slight aromatic bitterness.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plant of the genus Aralia (Panax); also, the root of this plant, which is highly valued as a tonic and stimulant by the Chinese, who ascribe to it almost miraculous powers.
- n. Several plants not botanically related to the ginseng have been so named as possessing similar medical properties, as, in Georgia, the sunflower-like composite Tetragonotheca helianthoides.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. Chinese herb with palmately compound leaves and small greenish flowers and forked aromatic roots believed to have medicinal powers
- n. aromatic root of ginseng plants
Chinese (Mandarin) rén shēn : rén, man + shēn, ginseng (perhaps from the forked shape of the root).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Mandarin trad. 人蔘, simpl. 人参 (pinyin: rénshēn). (Wiktionary)