One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A shrub or small tree that typically bears thorns and black berries. Some kinds yield dyes and others have been used medicinally.
Genus Rhamnus, family Rhamnaceae: several species, including the common buckthorn (R. cathartica), with berries formerly used as a cathartic. See also alder buckthorn
- ‘We do not recommend strong laxatives such as senna or buckthorn for you.’
- ‘The jujube (pronounced juh-ju-bee or juh-juh-bee) is a member of the buckthorn family, or Rhamnaceae.’
- ‘These herbal teas typically include senna, aloe, buckthorn and other plant-derived laxatives.’
- ‘It requires two species of host plant to complete its life cycle: common buckthorn and soybean.’
- ‘Minqin also planted ramparts of rose willow, buckthorn and other deep-root trees in a 200-mile file along the desert fronts.’
Late 16th century: from buck in the sense ‘deer’ + thorn, translating modern Latin spina cervina.
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