Definition of wintergreen in English:

wintergreen

noun

  • 1A North American plant from which a pungent oil is obtained.

    a birch tree whose bark produces oil (Betula lenta, family Betulaceae).

    the checkerberry or a related shrub whose leaves produce oil.

    • ‘But where you are, none of these wintergreens need more protection then just a hoop house.’
    • ‘Other wildflowers to look for are western mountain aster, meadow rue, pink wintergreen, and Chinese houses (a plant in the snapdragon family).’
    • ‘Evergreen candytuft and Liriope remain green, while wintergreen and Epimedium turn bronze or purple-red.’
    • ‘I close my eyes and rest my head on Ian's shoulder, smelling the Jack Daniels and the wintergreen, feeling the warmth of his skin against my face.’
    • ‘This wintergreen plant grows mainly in the vicinity of penguin colonies and the gathering places of large mammals, where it usually forms extensive closed swards in larger or smaller clusters.’
    1. 1.1mass noun A pungent oil containing methyl salicylate, obtained from the wintergreen or made synthetically, used medicinally and as a flavouring.
      • ‘It is usually flavored with mint, menthol, wintergreen, etc. and is sold in small, round cans.’
      • ‘He smells like wintergreen, as always, and meatloaf from what I presume was his dinner.’
      • ‘Make sure you keep oil of wintergreen out of children's reach.’
      • ‘Two wildflowers that are striking because of their white-striped leaves are giant rattlesnake plantain and white-veined wintergreen.’
      • ‘An ester, methyl salicylate, familiar as oil of wintergreen, is also a phenolic compound.’
      • ‘The faint scent of wild wintergreen came up from beneath his feet as he stepped on their spreading, low-growing mats of small-leaved growth and tiny, pale lavender flowers, until he came at last to the edge of the meadow.’
      • ‘I can remember the smell of wintergreen, and the musty smell of my first sheepskin jacket.’
      • ‘Having once formed coumarin from coal tar, this led to artificial musk and then to the artificial production of the scents of violets, roses, jasmine and the smell of the year - oil of wintergreen.’
      • ‘Substances such as menthol, wintergreen oil, eucalyptus oil, or turpentine cause cool or hot sensations that can temporarily relieve or cover up pain.’
      • ‘Oil of Wintergreen - Dampen cotton balls with oil of wintergreen and place out of sight but where air will touch them.’
      • ‘A more pleasant-tasting tea can be brewed from equal amounts of meadowsweet, wintergreen and cramp bark.’
      • ‘It's equally difficult to distinguish wintergreen from camphor, although probably less clinically important.’
      • ‘He is drunker than a sailor, his breath smelling of double-malt whiskey and wintergreen.’
      • ‘A suitable rub for stiff areas can be made up as follows: 2 drops eucalyptus oil; 2 drops oil of wintergreen; 5 drops lavender oil; 3 drops rosemary oil; 1 drop black pepper oil.’
      • ‘The few non-woody species include little bluestem, wintergreen, Virginia tephrosia, wild indigo, tall oatgrass, cowwheat, low frost weed, turkey beard, and bracken fern.’
      • ‘Spots on all finishes except lacquer can be treated with a cloth dampened with spirits of camphor, essence of peppermint or oil of wintergreen.’
      • ‘The tradition of penida survives most clearly in American stick candy which is similarly twisted and flavoured with essences supposed to be effective against colds, such as oil of wintergreen.’
      • ‘Essential oils like peppermint, cinnamon and wintergreen stimulate gums and add flavor.’
      • ‘You might try other herbs rich in salicylates, notably meadowsweet and wintergreen.’
      • ‘Oil of wintergreen, also known as methyl salicylate, is a time-honored rub or liniment used for sprains, strains, aches, pains and arthritis.’
  • 2A low-growing plant of acid soils in north temperate regions, with spikes of white bell-shaped flowers.

    Pyrola and other genera, family Pyrolaceae

    • ‘They experimented with cherry, wintergreen, grape, peppermint, and cinnamon: Kramm would taste each by taking a bit on his fingertip and touching it to his tongue, then rinsing his mouth with water.’
    • ‘Other species include trailing arbutus, bearberry, wintergreen, inkberry, sweet fern, flowering pixie moss, and cowwheat.’
    • ‘The garden is only a garden, shrubs and grass and wintergreen trees, and birds, and there is never anybody in that garden, and there is nothing you could do there, except sneak up to the windows and spy on the Mistress.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: the plants so named because of remaining green in winter, suggested by Dutch wintergroen, German Wintergrün.

Pronunciation

wintergreen

/ˈwɪntəɡriːn/