Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A rod-shaped architectural molding decorated with a design of leaves, scrolls, or a twined serpent.
  • noun Any of various plants with a tall flowering stalk.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In architecture, an ornament consisting of a straight rod from which pointed leaves sprout on either side.
  • noun A popular name of several plants with tall flowering stems, as the goldenrod, the hag-taper, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Arch.) A rod with one serpent twined around it, thus differing from the caduceus of Mercury, which has two.
  • (Bot.) A plant with a tall flowering stem; esp. the great mullein, or hag-taper, and the golden-rod.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun architecture A rod-shaped molding decorated with an entwined snake, and sometimes leaves, vines, and/or scrolls.
  • noun archaic A rod with one serpent twined around it, as used by Aaron (differing from the caduceus of Mercury, which has two serpents).

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

  • noun tall-stalked very woolly mullein with densely packed yellow flowers; ancient Greeks and Romans dipped the stalks in tallow for funeral torches

Etymologies

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

[After the blossoming rod of Aaron in Numbers 17:8.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

With reference to Numbers 17:8 (‘And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.’ King James Version).

Examples

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