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

  • n. Any of several deciduous shrubs or small trees of the genus Hamamelis, especially H. virginiana, of eastern North America, having yellow flowers that bloom in late autumn or winter.
  • n. An alcoholic solution containing an extract of the bark and leaves of this plant, applied externally as a mild astringent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several small deciduous trees, of the genus Hamamelis, having yellow flowers
  • n. Hamamelis virginiana (Eastern North America), especially, or Hamamelis vernalis (Ozarks).
  • n. An extract of the bark and/or leaves of this plant, used as an astringent

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See Witch-hazel, and Hamamelis.

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

  • n. lotion consisting of an astringent alcoholic solution containing an extract from the witch hazel plant
  • n. any of several shrubs or trees of the genus Hamamelis; bark yields an astringent lotion


Alteration of obsolete wych, wych elm; see wych elm + hazel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
See Middle English wiche, Old English wiceĀ ("pliant, bendable, weak") (Wiktionary)


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  • A North American shrub, Hamamelis virginica; also, an extract of the leaves and bark of this shrub, used as an astringent remedy.

    February 16, 2007