Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A perennial weed, Parietaria officinalis; specifically, the wall-pellitory, a small bushy plant growing on old walls, etc., throughout the cooler parts of Europe and Asia.
  • noun The feverfew, Chrusanthemum parthenium (see feverfew); also, the other chrysanthemums of the group often classed as Phyrethrum. The sneezewort, Achillea Ptarmica, has been called wild or bastard pellitory.

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

  • noun A composite plant (Anacyclus Pyrethrum) of the Mediterranean region, having finely divided leaves and whitish flowers. The root is the officinal pellitory, and is used as an irritant and sialogogue. Called also bertram, and pellitory of Spain.
  • noun The feverfew (Chrysanthemum Parthenium); -- so called because it resembles the above.
  • noun (Bot.) The common name of the several species of the genus Parietaria, low, harmless weeds of the Nettle family; -- also called wall pellitory, and lichwort.

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

  • noun Any plant of the genus Parietaria.
  • noun Achillea ptarmica, sneezewort.

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

  • noun herb that grows in crevices having long narrow leaves and small pink apetalous flowers
  • noun a small Mediterranean plant containing a volatile oil once used to relieve toothache

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably an alteration of pelleter, with change of ending after Etymology 1, above.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably a variant form of parietary.

Examples

  • ‘Needs must thou bring me a cooking-pot full of virgin vinegar and a pound of the herb pellitory called wound-wort.’

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Tufts of weeds outline the paving-stones; the walls are scored by enormous cracks, and the blackened coping is laced with a thousand festoons of pellitory.

    La Grand Breteche

  • This bas-relief was surmounted by a projecting plinth, upon which a variety of chance growths had sprung up, — yellow pellitory, bindweed, convolvuli, nettles, plantain, and even a little cherry-tree, already grown to some height.

    Eug�nie Grandet

  • At the end you come to a second gateway, a Gothic archway covered with simple ornament, now crumbling into ruin and overgrown with wildflowers — moss and ivy, wallflowers and pellitory.

    La Grenadiere

  • At the end you come to a second gateway, a Gothic archway covered with simple ornament, now crumbling into ruin and overgrown with wildflowers — moss and ivy, wallflowers and pellitory.

    La Grenadiere

  • Tufts of weeds outline the paving-stones; the walls are scored by enormous cracks, and the blackened coping is laced with a thousand festoons of pellitory.

    La Grand Breteche

  • ‘We shall hardly,’ said he one morning to Waverley when they had been viewing the Castle — ‘we shall hardly gain the obsidional crown, which you wot well was made of the roots or grain which takes root within the place besieged, or it may be of the herb woodbind, parietaria, or pellitory; we shall not, I say, gain it by this same blockade or leaguer of Edinburgh Castle.’

    Waverley

  • The head from which Brother Mark's pellitory dressing had erased even the last drying sore of under-feeding and dirt burrowed comfortably into Joscelin's once-privileged shoulder, and he felt nothing but amused and indulgent affection.

    The Leper of Saint Giles

  • I was running out of the lotion of pellitory, and see how much good it's done for him!

    The Leper of Saint Giles

  • I was running out of the lotion of pellitory, and see how much good it's done for him!

    The Leper of Saint Giles

Comments

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  • I know this is plant name noun, but I do think it's yearning, deep down in its little weedy heart, to adopt a useful function in the world as an adjective.

    I'm proposing "fiery and furious", based in part on the etymology and in part on feelings a particular variety of pellitory (the Parietaria judaica aka asthma weed) arouses in me.

    April 27, 2008

  • Also it sounds like predatory, so I'd be down with using it to mean "something that causes me to wheeze and cough." Nice one! (p.s. asthma sucks.)

    April 27, 2008

  • Didn't we used to have a 'catch-a-tory' list at some point?

    April 27, 2008

  • catch-a-tory

    April 27, 2008

  • Oh my gosh. I completely forgot about that stunning list. Thanks for posting the link, sionnach. *wishes she could add entire list conversations to her "Conversations" list*

    April 28, 2008

  • Yes, it was where madeupical (which began life as a cousin to madeupatory) was inspired. I remember it well.... *feels nostalgic*

    Would you add skin rashes to that allergic reaction definition? The "pelli" part of the word reminds me of that (although I don't think that's etymologically correct).

    April 28, 2008

  • Usage/historical note on pyrether.

    December 6, 2016

  • Another usage/historical note in comment on dittany.

    January 8, 2017