A widely distributed herbaceous plant of the gentian family, typically having pink petals atop long calyx tubes.
- ‘The leaves, stems, and flowers of centaury are used medicinally.’
- ‘The mythical centaur Chironia, cured a poison arrow wound with centaury, hence its name.’
- ‘Centaury varies a great deal according to) its situation, and some botanists enumerate several distinct species.’
Late Middle English: from late Latin centaurea, based on Greek kentauros centaur (because its medicinal properties were said to have been discovered by the centaur Chiron).