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1. A twining eastern Mexican vine (Ipomoea purga) having tuberous roots that are dried, powdered, and used medicinally as a purgative.
2. The purgative drug obtained from the roots of this plant or related plants.
[French, from American Spanish jalapa, short for (purga de) Jalapa, (purgative of) Jalapa, after Jalapa.]
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.
1. (Plants) a Mexican convolvulaceous plant, Exogonium (or Ipomoea) purga
2. (Plants) any of several similar or related plants
3. (Medicine) the dried and powdered root of any of these plants, used as a purgative
4. (Plants) the resin obtained from any of these plants
[C17: from French, from Mexican Spanish jalapa, short for purga de Jalapa purgative of Jalapa]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
jal•ap(ˈdʒæl əp, ˈdʒɑ ləp)
1. the dried tuberous root of any of several plants, esp. Exogonium purga, of the morning glory family, or the powder derived from it, used in medicine chiefly as a purgative.
2. any of these plants.
[1665–75; < Middle French < Sp (purga de) Jalapa purgative from Jalapa]
ja•lap•ic (-ˈlæp ɪk) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.