Definition of pellitory in English:



  • 1A European plant of the nettle family with greenish flowers, which grows on or at the foot of walls or in stony places.

    Parietaria judaica, family Urticaceae

    • ‘Results of earlier prick tests and radioallergosorbent tests were positive for wall pellitory and grasses, and the tests resulted in a mild increase in peripheral blood eosinophil counts (0.6-0.7 x 10 / l (6-7%)).’
  • 2A plant of the daisy family, Anacyclus pyrethrum, with a pungent root, once used as a remedy for toothache.

    • ‘In the thirteenth century we read in old records that Pellitory of Spain was 'a proved remedy for the toothache' with the Welsh physicians.’
    • ‘The root of pellitory possesses very pungent stimulating properties, which, when chewed, give a sharp and tingling sense of heat in the mouth, and excite a copious flow of saliva.’


Late Middle English: pellitory (sense 1) apparently an alteration of obsolete parietary, from Old French paritaire, based on Latin paries, pariet- ‘wall’; pellitory (sense 2) probably a variant of obsolete pelleter, via Old French from Latin pyrethrum pyrethrum.