One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A collector of plants and their roots for medicinal purposes; a herbalist.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Nathan Bailey (d. 1742), lexicographer and schoolmaster. From ancient Greek ῥιζοτομός person who gathers roots, especially for medicinal purposes (from ῥιζο- + τομός: see -tome) + -ist.
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