Definition of lycopodium in US English:



  • 1A plant of a genus that includes the common club mosses.

    Genus Lycopodium, family Lycopodiaceae

    • ‘Dried lycopodium is used for making herbal tea, which is good for diarrhea, urinary complains, and inflammations.’
    • ‘Insert sections of lycopodium all around the bottle brush to create a realistic miniature Christmas tree.’
    • ‘For all Lycopodium species, the aerial stems have two primary functions.’
    1. 1.1 A fine, flammable powder consisting of club moss spores, formerly used as an absorbent in surgery, in experiments in the physical sciences, and in making fireworks.
      • ‘She had been prescribed lycopodium by her homeopath and this had helped a great deal but only gave symptomatic relief.’
      • ‘The fine plastic yellow mud will put lycopodium powder to shame, as it were.’
      • ‘Dusting powder (ie, lycopodium, talcum powder, or a combination of the two) was introduced.’
      • ‘After users discovered that talcum powder caused patient complications similar to those caused by lycopodium powder, they began to transition to the use of cornstarch in 1947.’
      • ‘The FDA further recommended that the use of talc or lycopodium be banned, despite the fact that these substances already have been out of favor for several decades.’


Modern Latin, from Greek lukos ‘wolf’ + pous, pod- ‘foot’ (because of the claw-like shape of the root).