Definition of tormentil in US English:



  • A low-growing Eurasian plant with bright yellow flowers. The root is used in herbal medicine to treat diarrhea.

    Potentilla erecta, family Rosaceae

    • ‘Bitter liqueur made from the root of the tormentil plant which contains a particularly large number of bitter substances.’
    • ‘As to the pain element of wounds, tormentil does a nice job here as well and for the same reasons.’
    • ‘Quicklyte ® is a medical food, which contains a mixture of electrolytes, glucose, and tormentil root extract.’
    • ‘The diverse flora of the bog can be seen including mosses, lichens, heathers, sedges and insect-eating sundews, and in early summer the bog is a carpet of colour from flowering milkworts, tormentils, orchids, bog cotton and other plants.’
    • ‘Grind up 8 grams of tormentil and mix it with 4 grams of santonica wormwood, 4 grams of aloe, 4 grams of rhubarb, 4 grams of ginger, and 4 grams of gentian.’
    • ‘Acid grassland generally consists of fine-leaved grasses such as common bents and fescues, with herbs such as sheep's sorrel, tormentil and heath bedstraw.’
    • ‘The grassland areas are grazed by a mixture of cattle and Jacob's sheep, and are sprinkled with wild flowers including devil's-bit scabious, oxeye daisy, bird's-foot-trefoil, harebell and tormentil.’
    • ‘Containing more tannin than oak bark, all parts of tormentil are strongly astringent, finding use wherever that action is required.’
    • ‘On the ground, patches of yellow tormentil, blue-purple and red-magenta milkwort were growing at regular intervals, with small heath, small copper, green hairstreak and other butterfly species putting in the occasional appearance.’
    • ‘I had a wonderful time, saw, pyramid orchids, spotted orchid, St. John's wort, kidney vetch, tufted vetch (I think), bladder campions (hadn't seen any for a long time) meadowsweet, bird's foot trefoil, hare's tail clover, silverweed and tormentils, sea bindweed, field poppies, greater knapweed, centaury, and what I think may be a kind of mullein.’
    • ‘Those taking tormentil root extract had a shorter duration of diarrhea and did not require as much intravenous or oral rehydration fluids.’
    • ‘Some of these have images etched onto them - the background to the window shows some of God's creations which my father thought were especially lovely - tormentils, oystercatchers, skylarks and of course St. Margaret's Church.’
    • ‘It sings from the bumblebee slash on a motorway truck, wild flowers massed on grass: celandine, lady's slipper, tormentil, tiny warriors pitting themselves against air fogged with chemicals…’
    • ‘A big bonus is that the weeds - such as stitchwort, clover, meadow vetchling, tormentils and field scabious - are a positive delight in this patch.’


Late Middle English: from French tormentille, from medieval Latin tormentilla, of unknown origin.