asafoetida(redirected from Asa foetida)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
as·a·fet·i·daalso as·a·foet·i·da (ăs′ə-fĕt′ĭ-də)
1. Any of several plants of the genus Ferula in the parsley family, native to dry regions in Iran and Afghanistan and having long, sturdy, hollow stems and roots yielding a brownish, strong-smelling resin.
2. The resin obtained from these plants, especially from the species Ferula assa-foetida, used as an ingredient in medicine and remedies and as a seasoning in South Asian cuisine.
[Middle English, from Medieval Latin asafētida : asa, gum (from Persian azā, mastic) + Latin foetida, feminine of foetidus, stinking; see fetid.]
(Pharmacology) a bitter resin with an unpleasant onion-like smell, obtained from the roots of some umbelliferous plants of the genus Ferula: formerly used as a carminative, antispasmodic, and expectorant
[C14: from Medieval Latin, from asa gum (compare Persian azā mastic) + Latin foetidus evil-smelling, fetid]