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

  • noun A grass (Vetiveria zizanioides syn. Chrysopogon zizanioides) of tropical India, often planted to control erosion and widely cultivated for its aromatic roots, which yield an oil used in perfumery.
  • noun The essential oil obtained from the roots of this plant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The cuscus-grass, Andropogon squarrosus (A. muricatus), of India, the fibrous roots of which are made into tatties (see tatty).

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

  • noun (Bot.) An East Indian grass (Andropogon muricatus); also, its fragrant roots which are much used for making mats and screens. Also called kuskus, and khuskhus.

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

  • noun The aromatic root of Andropogon muricatus grass.


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

[French vétiver, from Tamil veṭṭivēr : veṭṭi, worthless + vēru, useless.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French vétyver, from Tamil.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • "But to me (just as an aroma, unpleasing perhaps in itself, of naphthalene and vetiver would have thrilled me by bringing back to me the blue purity of the sea on the day of my arrival at Balbec), the smell of petrol which, together with the smoke from the exhaust of the car, had so often melted into the pale azure on those scorching days when I used to drive from Saint-Jean-de-la-Haise to Gourville, since it had accompanied me on my excursions during those summer afternoons when I left Albertine painting, called into blossom now on either side of me, for all that I was lying in my darkened bedroom, corn-flowers, poppies and red clover, intoxicated me like a country scent, not circumscribed and fixed like that of the hawthorns which, held in by its dense, oleaginous elements, hangs with a certain stability about the hedge, but like a scent before which the roads sped away, the landscape changed, stately houses came hurrying to meet me, the sky turned pale, forces were increased tenfold, a scent which was like a symbol of elastic motion and power and which revived the desire that I had felt at Balbec to climb into the cage of steel and crystal, but this time no longer to pay visits to familiar houses with a woman I knew too well, but to make love in new places with a woman unknown."

    -- The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, pp 554-555 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 11, 2010