milkwort
noun Date: 1578 any of a genus (Polygala of the family Polygalaceae, the milkwort family) of herbs and shrubs often having showy flowers with three sometimes crested petals united below into a tube and an irregular calyx with two petaloid sepals

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • Milkwort — Milk wort , n. (Bot.) A genus of plants ({Polygala}) of many species. The common European {Polygala vulgaris} was supposed to have the power of producing a flow of milk in nurses. [1913 Webster] Note: The species of {Campanula}, or bellflower,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • milkwort — [milk′wʉrt΄] n. [from the former notion that it increases the secretion of milk in nursing women] any of a genus (Polygala) of plants of the milkwort family with showy flowers of various colors adj. designating a family (Polygalaceae, order… …   English World dictionary

  • milkwort — /milk werrt , wawrt /, n. 1. any plant or shrub of the genus Polygala, formerly supposed to increase the secretion of milk. 2. See sea milkwort. [1570 80; MILK + WORT2] * * * …   Universalium

  • milkwort — n. any plant from the genus Polygala (formerly thought to increase the secretion of milk by nursing women); sea milkwort, species of flowering aquatic plant …   English contemporary dictionary

  • milkwort — noun Any of more than 500 species of flowering plants of the genus Polygala that are used as a food source by the larvae of some members of the Lepidoptra species …   Wiktionary

  • milkwort — milk·wort (milkґwort) any plant of the genus Polygala …   Medical dictionary

  • milkwort — noun a small plant with blue, pink, or white flowers, formerly believed to increase the milk yield of cows and nursing mothers. [Polygala vulgaris and related species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • milkwort — milk•wort [[t]ˈmɪlkˌwɜrt, ˌwɔrt[/t]] n. pln any of numerous plants or shrubs of the genus Polygala, having flowers with winged petals • Etymology: 1570–80 …   From formal English to slang

  • milkwort — /ˈmɪlkwɜt/ (say milkwert) noun any of the herbs and shrubs constituting the genus Polygala, having (mostly) spikes or spike like racemes of variously coloured flowers, formerly reputed to increase the secretion of milk …   Australian English dictionary

  • milkwort — n. any plant of the genus Polygala, formerly supposed to increase women s milk …   Useful english dictionary

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