from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A twining eastern Mexican vine (Ipomoea purga syn. I. jalapa) having tuberous roots that are dried, powdered, and used medicinally as a cathartic.
- n. Any of several similar or related plants.
- n. The dried tuberous roots of these plants.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A cathartic drug consisting of the tuberous roots of Ipomoea purga, a convolvulaceous plant found in Mexico.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The tubers of the Mexican plant Ipomœa purga (or Exogonium purga) of the family Convolvulaceae, a climber much like the morning-glory. The abstract, extract, and powder, prepared from the tubers, are well known purgative (cathartic) medicines, and are also called jalap. Other species of Ipomœa yield several inferior kinds of jalap, as the Ipomœa Orizabensis, and Ipomœa tuberosa.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A drug consisting of the tuberous roots of several plants of the natural order Convolvulaceæ, that of Ipomæapurga being the most important.
- n. b) Ipomœa Jalapa, of the southern United States and tropical-America. See Mechoacan root, under root.
French, from American Spanish jalapa, short for (purga de) Jalapa, (purgative of) Jalapa, after Jalapa .(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the city of Xalapa in Mexico. (Wiktionary)