Definitions

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

  • n. An aromatic Eurasian plant (Marrubium vulgare) in the mint family, having square stems, opposite leaves with white pubescence, and numerous white flowers in axillary cymes. The leaves yield a bitter extract used in flavoring and as a cough remedy.
  • n. A candy or preparation flavored with this extract.
  • n. Any of similar or related plants, such as the black horehound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A herb, Marrubium vulgare, of the mint family. Traditionally used to make a powerful cough remedy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plant of the genus Marrubium (Marrubium vulgare), which has a bitter taste, and is a weak tonic, used as a household remedy for colds, coughing, etc.
  • n. A lozenge or tablet, usually sweetened, containing extract of horehound, used as a remedy for a cough or a sore throat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See hoarhound.

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

  • n. any of various aromatic herbs of the genus Marrubium
  • n. a candy that is flavored with an extract of the horehound plant

Etymologies

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

Middle English, alteration (influenced by hound, hound) of horhune, from Old English hārehūne : hār, hoary + hūne, a kind of plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English hārhūne.

Examples

  • The children have learned to identify wild edible and medicinal plants in our bioregion, helping to harvest prickly pear and banana yucca fruit each season, as well as to appreciate the healing benefits of juniper berries, snakeweed, mallow, horehound, and more.

    Randall Amster: "I Want to Be a Farmer": Food Justice, Out of the Mouths of Babes

  • White horehound flowers end up garnishing a dish of razor clams.

    Sniffing Out Local Gems

  • Each morning, Mr. Willetts cycles from his home nearby, stopping off along the way to pick vegetation such as honeysuckle, borage, sweet violets, horehound and meadowsweet, which will end up on one of the dishes at the restaurant later that day.

    Sniffing Out Local Gems

  • In his mouth there was the sweet burn of horehound candy, the exact savor of his long-ago childhood.

    Excerpt: The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

  • Cadfael went back to his workshop in the herbarium, and blew up his brazier to boil a fresh elixir of horehound for the winter coughs and colds.

    A Caregiver's Homage To The Very Old

  • Remember in the Little House books how excited Laura and Mary would get over an orange and a piece of horehound candy?

    Ferule & Fescue

  • Maybe I smelled the musk of horehound and the bracing scent of mint in my sleep, for in the morning I awoke to find those herbs in the straw around our blankets, mixed with poppies and cornflower and other weeds that had grown unwelcomed amidst wheat and barley.

    Wildfire

  • I made a tisane of horehound and hyssop the next night, when I heard the woman coughing, and in this way I took up my duties as a greenwoman again.

    Wildfire

  • I gathered mint and mustard and nettles, and went down to my herb garden on the terrace below the house to pick horehound and hyssop.

    Wildfire

  • Instead of using rock candy and dried horehound, he puts horehound candy drops (an old-fashioned cough lozenge) in the whiskey.

    A Cocktail for What Ails You

Comments

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  • Here's a bit more, from OED (which I think not everyone has access to, no?):

    1. A labiate herb, Marrubium vulgare, having stem and leaves covered with white cottony pubescence (!!); its aromatic bitter juice is much used as a remedy for coughs, etc. Hence extended to several allied herbs (see b), horehound proper being then distinguished as common or white horehound.

    b. With qualifying words: base horehound, White Dead-nettle, Lamium album; black, fetid, or stinking h., Ballota nigra, a common weed with dull purple flowers; water h., species of Lycopus, particularly L. Europæus.

    2. An extract or confection of the plant Marrubium vulgare, used as a remedy for coughs.

    3. attrib. and Comb., as horehound candy, drop, lozenge, etc.; horehound beer, a fermented beverage containing horehound juice.

    January 28, 2009

  • The horehound drops (which were not drops, but lozenges) my grandmother gave me were delicious!

    January 28, 2009

  • Also delicious.

    June 27, 2007

  • horehound drops, an old fashioned remedy/candy.

    June 27, 2007

  • Not to be confused with whorehound, which I'm sure doesn't many anything.

    February 7, 2007

  • A perennial plant in the mint family, which contains a bitter medicinal juice.

    February 6, 2007