from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A delphinium (Delphinium staphisagria) of southern Europe, having purple or blue flowers.
- noun The poisonous seeds of this plant, formerly used medicinally especially to kill external parasites such as lice.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A species of larkspur, Delphinium Staphisagria, native in southern Europe and Asia Minor.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Bot.) A kind of larkspur (
Delphinium Staphysagria), and its seeds, which are violently purgative and emetic. They are used as a parasiticide, and in the East for poisoning fish.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A highly
toxic, perennialplant with purple flowers, Delphinium staphisagria.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
[By folk etymology from Middle English staphisagre, from Latin staphis agria, from Greek staphis agriā : staphis, stavesacre + agriā, feminine of agrios, wild; see agro- in Indo-European roots.]
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-- All kinds of lice and their nits may be got rid of by washing with a simple decoction of stavesacre (_Delphinium staphisagria_), or with a lotion made with the bruised seed in vinegar, or with the tincture, or by rubbing in a salve made with the seeds and four times their weight of lard very carefully beaten together.
Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889
ruzuzu commented on the word stavesacre
"Stavesacre? That's good to kill vermin! Then,
belike, if I serve you I shall be lousy."
- Christopher Marlowe, 'Doctor Faustus'
May 23, 2010