Definition of stevia in US English:



  • A composite herb native to South America (Genus Stevia, especially S. rebaudiana, native to Paraguay) whose leaves are the source of a noncaloric sweetener.

    • ‘A small, green plant, native to Paraguay, stevia's leaves have a nectar-like taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar, depending upon the quality of the leaf.’
    • ‘The area where we're working is full of newly-planted yucca, papayas, sweet potatoes, and herbs like marjoram and stevia as ground cover.’
    • ‘According to FDA officials, the herb stevia can be ‘adulterated’ merely by being in the presence of information that reveals its sweetening property.’
    • ‘To sweeten foods and beverages, Nelson suggests using the natural, calorie-free herb stevia.’
    • ‘Stevia comes directly from the stevia that is grown and used in South America, most notably in Brazil and Paraguay as well as many other countries including Japan.’


Modern Latin (genus name), named after Pedro Jaime Esteve (1500–66), Spanish physician and botanist.