Mistletoe
Mistletoe Mis"tle*toe, n. [AS. mistelt[=a]n; mistel mistletoe + t[=a]n twig. AS. mistel is akin of D., G., Dan. & Sw. mistel, OHG. mistil, Icel. mistilteinn; and AS. t[=a]n to D. teen, OHG. zein, Icel. teinn, Goth. tains. Cf. {Missel}.] (Bot.) A parasitic evergreen plant of Europe ({Viscum album}), bearing a glutinous fruit. When found upon the oak, where it is rare, it was an object of superstitious regard among the Druids. A bird lime is prepared from its fruit. [Written also {misletoe}, {misseltoe}, and {mistleto}.] --Lindley. --Loudon. [1913 Webster]

Note: The mistletoe of the United States is {Phoradendron serotinum} (syn. {Phoradendron flavescens}), having broader leaves than the European kind. In different regions various similar plants are called by this name. The mistletoe is used as a decoration at Christmas time, and it is a tradition that two persons of the oposite sex finding each other under a mistletoe sprig should kiss. [1913 Webster +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mistletoe — [mis′əl tō΄] n. [OE misteltan (akin to ON mistilteinn) < mistel, mistletoe (prob. < Gmc * mista, dung: from being propagated by seeds in bird dung) + tan, a twig] 1. any of various evergreen plants (genera Phoradendron and Viscum) of the… …   English World dictionary

  • Mistletoe — est le premier single extrait de l album Under the Mistletoe de Justin Bieber. Le single est sorti le 17 octobre 2011. Portail de la musique Catégories : Œuvre musicale …   Wikipédia en Français

  • mistletoe — (n.) O.E. mistiltan, from mistel mistletoe (see MISSEL (Cf. missel)) + tan twig. Cf. O.N. mistilteinn, Norw. misteltein, Dan. mistelten. The second element is cognate with O.S., O.Fris. ten, O.N. teinn, Du. teen, O.H.G …   Etymology dictionary

  • mistletoe — ► NOUN ▪ an evergreen parasitic plant which grows on broadleaf trees and bears white berries in winter. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • Mistletoe — For other uses, see Mistletoe (disambiguation). European mistletoe attached to a silver birch Mistletoe is the common name for obligate hemi parasitic plants in several families in the order Santalales. The plants in question grow attached to and …   Wikipedia

  • mistletoe — /mis euhl toh /, n. 1. a European plant, Viscum album, having yellowish flowers and white berries, growing parasitically on various trees, used in Christmas decorations. 2. any of several other related, similar plants, as Phoradendron serotinum,… …   Universalium

  • mistletoe —    The reputation of mistletoe was created by Pliny in his Natural History (AD 77). He wrote that in Gaul the *Druids thought it sacred if it grew on an oak (which it rarely does); they believed it protected against injury by fire or water, made… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • mistletoe — noun Etymology: Middle English mistilto, from Old English misteltān, from mistel mistletoe + tān twig; akin to Old High German & Old Saxon mistil mistletoe and to Old High German zein twig Date: before 12th century a European semiparasitic green… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mistletoe — [OE] Mistletoe is a mystery word. It means literally ‘mistletoe twig’, and comes from an Old English compound misteltān formed from mistel ‘mistletoe’ and tān ‘twig’. The origins of mistel, however (which has relatives in German mistil and Dutch… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • mistletoe — [OE] Mistletoe is a mystery word. It means literally ‘mistletoe twig’, and comes from an Old English compound misteltān formed from mistel ‘mistletoe’ and tān ‘twig’. The origins of mistel, however (which has relatives in German mistil and Dutch… …   Word origins

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”