Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the parsley family, Dorema Ammoniacum, which yields gum ammoniac. See ammoniac and Dorema.

Etymologies

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  • Where now mere traces remained of the five overthrown cities of Gomorrah, Ruma, Sodom, Seadeh and Seboah, the oleanders once grew thirty feet high beside rivers that never ran dry, and there were acacia forests and oshac trees as in Florida.

    —W.G. Sebald, The Emigrants (1983, Eng. tr. 1996), in a diary entry feigned to be written by a traveller to Palestine in 1913.

    No current usage in English, and not in OED, but a number of nineteenth-century books give oshac as the Persian name of gum ammoniac.

    October 22, 2008