Definitions

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

  • n. An eastern Asian plant (Sium sisarum) having a cluster of tuberous, sweetish, edible roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An umbelliferous plant (Sium or Pimpinella sisarum), cultivated for its sweet edible tuberous roots.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An umbelliferous plant (Sium Sisarum syn. Pimpinella Sisarum). It is a native of Asia, but has been long cultivated in Europe for its edible clustered tuberous roots, which are very sweet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A species of waterparsnip, Sium Sisarum, generally said to be of Chinese origin, long cultivated in Europe for its esculent root.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an Asiatic herb cultivated in Europe for its sweet edible tuberous root

Etymologies

Middle English skirwhit, alteration (influenced by skir, pure, bright and white, white) of Old French eschervi, probably from Arabic karawyā, caraway, from Greek karō.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
A corrupted form equivalent to sugarwort. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On the other hand, there was a kind of parsnip called skirret that did die out entirely because people stopped cultivating it, and a type of small onion, and a certain breed of English peas—

    TO STORM HEAVEN

  • Garnish it with orange peel boil'd in strong broth, and some French beans boil'd, and put in thick butter, or some skirret, cardones, artichocks, slic't lemon, mace, or orange.

    The accomplisht cook or, The art & mystery of cookery

  • It was made of barley; certain herbs, such as lupine and skirret, were used as substitutes for hops.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • Vegetables count cole, collard, kale, all ` cabbage 'and preserved in kailyard ` cabbage garden,' symbolic of Scotland's literature since 1895 as in "the kailyard school"; rutabaga ` turnip, 'literally, ` root-bag'; and skirret ` parsnip, 'literally, ` sheer-white.'

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XI No 3

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Familiar smells drifted in the air: fennel, skirrets and alexanders, then wild garlic, radishes and broom."
    John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk, p 85

    November 10, 2012