from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun Any of various semiparasitic plants of the order Santalales that grow on the branches of other plants, especially Viscum album of Eurasia and Phoradendron leucarpum of North America, both of which have leathery evergreen leaves and waxy white berries. Extracts of the Eurasian species are sometimes used for medicinal purposes.
- noun A sprig of mistletoe, often used as a Christmas decoration.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A European plant, Viscum album, of the natural order Loranthaceæ, growing parasitically on various trees.
- noun A plant of some other species of Viscum, or of one of the genera Loranthus, Phoradendron, and Arceuthobium, their species almost all having the same parasitic habit.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Bot.) A parasitic evergreen plant of Europe (
Viscum album), bearing a glutinous fruit. When found upon the oak, where it is rare, it was an object of superstitious regard among the Druids. A bird lime is prepared from its fruit.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun Any of several parasitic
evergreenplants with white berriesthat grow in the crowns of oaks, apple trees and other trees.
- noun A
sprigof these plants used as a Christmas decoration.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun shrub of central and southeastern Europe; partially parasitic on beeches, chestnuts and oaks
- noun American plants closely resembling Old World mistletoe
- noun Old World parasitic shrub having branching greenish stems with leathery leaves and waxy white glutinous berries; the traditional mistletoe of Christmas
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
-- The word "mistletoe" comes from the Anglo-Saxon words for "dung" ( 'mistel') and the word for "twig" ( 'tan'), which appropriately describe mistletoe's origin of sprouting where a bird leaves its droppings.
A Christmas kiss under the mistletoe is an old English tradition.
The mistletoe is a fascinating plant, a parasite that behaves like a vampire, sucking out water and minerals from living trees.
Kissing under a mistletoe is a green-friendly seasonal activity, so is helping out at a soup kitchen, or running a coat drive.
In other words, the mistletoe is another vestige of beliefs that existed long before Christianity.
Druidic world would see, honestly, that in the mistletoe is their mystery, and that they themselves are the Tuatha De Danaan, alive, but submerged.
The mistletoe has been the object of a very special regard for centuries, and traces of this high esteem still survive in the well-known Christmas custom.
The mistletoe is a shrub which grows or lives upon certain trees, such as the apple, pear, and hawthorn.
The Chairman: I have noticed that the mistletoe was a bad parasite on the pecans in some regions.
But the fact that in both the mistletoe was a sacred plant affords a violent presumption that there must have been a common point from which both religions started.