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n. pl. bet·o·nies
Any of several plants of the widespread genus Stachys in the mint family, especially S. officinalis, native to Eurasia and northern Africa and having spikes of usually reddish-purple flowers. It was formerly used as an herbal medicine. Also called wood betony, woundwort.
[Middle English, from Old French betoine, from Medieval Latin betōnia, both from Latin vettōnica, probably from Vettōnēs, an ancient Iberian tribe.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -nies
1. (Plants) a Eurasian plant, Stachys (or Betonica) officinalis, with a spike of reddish-purple flowers, formerly used in medicine and dyeing: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
2. (Plants) any of several related plants of the genus Stachys
3. (Plants) wood betony a North American scrophulariaceous plant, Pedicularis canadensis. See also lousewort
[C14: from Old French betoine, from Latin betonica, variant of vettonica, probably named after the Vettones, an ancient Iberian tribe]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
bet•o•ny(ˈbɛt n i)
n., pl. -nies.
1. a plant, Stachys (formerly Betonica) officinalis, of the mint family, having dense spikes of purple flowers, formerly used in medicine and dyeing.
2. any of various similar plants, esp. of the genus Pedicularis.
[1300–50; Middle English beteyne, betoyne (< Anglo-French) < Medieval Latin betōnia, Latin betōnica (Pliny), in earlier readings vettōnica (herba) Vettonic (herb) (Vettōn(ēs) an Iberian tribe + -ica, feminine of -icus -ic)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.