Definitions

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

  • noun Any of numerous herbs, shrubs, or trees of the genus Euphorbia, characteristically having milky juice and a cluster of small unisexual flowers that are surrounded by a cuplike structure composed of fused bracts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A plant of the genus Euphorbia.
  • To purge; cleanse; rid.
  • To purge; froth; emit froth; especially, to work and cleanse itself, as ale.

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

  • transitive verb obsolete To emit foam; to froth; -- said of the emission of yeast from beer in course of fermentation.
  • noun (Bot.) Any plant of the genus Euphorbia. See euphorbia.
  • noun an evergreen shrub (Daphne Gnidium) with crowded narrow leaves. It is a native of Southern Europe.
  • noun a European shrub (Daphne Laureola) with oblong evergreen leaves.
  • noun See under Nettle.
  • noun an evergreen shrub (Daphne oleoides) found in the Mediterranean region.

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

  • noun Any plant of the genus Euphorbia exuding a bitter milky juice which was formerly used as a purgative.

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

  • noun any of numerous plants of the genus Euphorbia; usually having milky often poisonous juice

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French espurge, from espurgier, to purge (from its use as a purgative), from Latin expūrgāre; see expurgate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French espurge.

Examples

  • Euphorbia lathyrus, often called gopher spurge, which is reputed to repel the furry destructors.

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  • A plant called spurge is often mistaken for goathead.

    Boise Weekly

  • Suddenly it was mid-June and noxious weeds—leafy spurge, cheatgrass, hoary cress, Canada thistle—grew everywhere.

    Bird Cloud

  • Suddenly it was mid-June and noxious weeds—leafy spurge, cheatgrass, hoary cress, Canada thistle—grew everywhere.

    Bird Cloud

  • It was also shocking to me that their habitat inspector failed to notice the noxious weeds—leafy spurge along the waterways, Canada thistle, cheatgrass and other troublesome invaders largely spread by cattle.

    Bird Cloud

  • Cheatgrass had moved in along with leafy spurge, Canada thistle and whitetop, all noxious weeds.

    Bird Cloud

  • Cheatgrass had moved in along with leafy spurge, Canada thistle and whitetop, all noxious weeds.

    Bird Cloud

  • Alves came to the Camp Nou in the middle of a revolution marked by the arrival of a then unproven manager, Pep Guardiola, and a Stalinist spurge that saw an overhaul of the squad, including the departures of Deco, Ronaldinho and Edmílson, fellow countrymen who might have helped accommodate Alves at the club.

    Barcelona's Dani Alves on cheat allegations and the final against United

  • It was also shocking to me that their habitat inspector failed to notice the noxious weeds—leafy spurge along the waterways, Canada thistle, cheatgrass and other troublesome invaders largely spread by cattle.

    Bird Cloud

  • It was also shocking to me that their habitat inspector failed to notice the noxious weeds—leafy spurge along the waterways, Canada thistle, cheatgrass and other troublesome invaders largely spread by cattle.

    Bird Cloud

Comments

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  • ah! "So called from the plant's purgative properties" (see OE)

    this word fascinates me @-@

    September 20, 2009