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

  • n. An Indian plant (Curcuma zedoaria) having yellow flowers, purple bracts, and starchy tuberous rhizomes.
  • n. The dried rhizomes of this plant, used as a condiment and in perfumes, medicines, and cosmetics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Curcuma zedoaria, a perennial herb native to India and Indonesia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A medicinal substance obtained in the East Indies, having a fragrant smell, and a warm, bitter, aromatic taste. It is used in medicine as a stimulant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An East Indian drug, known in two varieties as long and round zedoary.


Middle English zeduarie, from Medieval Latin zeduāria, from Arabic zadwār, from Persian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • "Zedoary is an aromatic tuberous root of one of several species of Curcuma, related to ginger and turmeric. It was widely used in medieval medicines and cuisine."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 47

    November 28, 2016