wormwood, n. [AS. wermd, akin to OHG. wermuota, wormuota, G. wermuth, wermut; of uncertain origin.].
Roman wormwood (Bot.), an American weed (Ambrosia artemisiæfolia); hogweed. -- Tree wormwood (Bot.), a species of Artemisia (probably Artemisia variabilis) with woody stems. -- Wormwood hare (Zoöl.), a variety of the common hare (Lepus timidus); -- so named from its color.
A composite plant (Artemisia Absinthium), having a bitter and slightly aromatic taste, formerly used as a tonic and a vermifuge, and to protect woolen garments from moths. It gives the peculiar flavor to the cordial called absinthe. The volatile oil is a narcotic poison. The term is often extended to other species of the same genus. [1913 Webster]
Anything very bitter or grievous; bitterness. [1913 Webster
"Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood."
1 any woody shrub of the genus Artemisia, with a bitter aromatic taste, used in the preparation of vermouth and absinthe and in medicine.
2 bitter mortification or a source of this.
ME, alt. f. obs. wormod f. OE wormod, wermod, after worm, wood: cf. VERMOUTH
bitterness, acridness, acridity, acrimony, caustic, alkali, acerbity, gall, wormwood
, bitters, astringent bitters, Angostura, aromatic bitters, sourness, pungency, alkaloids, turmeric, bitter, bitterish, acrid, acerb, acerbic, bitter as gall, bitter pill to take, sugar coating on a bitter pill.