Definition of ferula in US English:



  • 1A tall large-leaved Eurasian plant of a genus that includes asafetida and its relatives.

    Genus Ferula, family Umbelliferae

    • ‘It's made with ferula, horseradish and garlic extracts, which straighten hair and provide terrific thermal protection.’
    • ‘Silphium has a big thick root, a stem as long as ferula and just about as thick, and a leaf (which they call maspeton) similar to celery; it has a flat fruit, rather leaf-like, called phyllon ‘leaf’.’
  • 2

    rare term for ferule
    • ‘A stereotypical portrait of an old-time Chinese teacher would be a thin figure with a goatee, carrying a book in one hand and a ferula in the other.’
    • ‘I have a birch rod handy to dole out any punishment or I may have to hit you on the hand with a ferula.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘giant fennel, rod’.