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Worm"wood (?), n. [AS. werm&unr_;d, akin to OHG. wermuota, wormuota, G. wermuth, wermut; of uncertain origin.]
1. (Bot.) A composite plant (Artemisia Absinthium), having a bitter and slightly aromatic taste, formerly used as a tonic and a vermifuge, and to protect woolen garments from moths. It gives the peculiar flavor to the cordial called absinthe. The volatile oil is a narcotic poison. The term is often extended to other species of the same genus.
2. Anything very bitter or grievous; bitterness.
Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood. Deut. xxix. 18.
Roman wormwood (Bot.), an American weed (Ambrosia artemisiæfolia); hogweed. -- Tree wormwood (Bot.), a species of Artemisia (probably Artemisia variabilis) with woody stems. -- Wormwood hare (Zo&ö;l.), a variety of the common hare (Lepus timidus); -- so named from its color.