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Related to quassia: Quassia amara


a. A tropical American shrub or small tree (Quassia amara) having bright scarlet flowers and yielding a fine-grained, yellowish-white wood.
b. The wood of this plant.
2. A bitter substance obtained from the wood of this plant or related plants in the family Simaroubaceae, used in medicine and formerly as an insecticide.

[New Latin, after Gramman Quassi ("Great Man" Kwasi), an 18th-century Guinean who, after being enslaved and transported to Suriname, became renowned as a healer, especially by prescribing quassia for fever, and whose success eventually allowed him to purchase his freedom.]
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) any tree of the tropical American simaroubaceous genus Quassia, having bitter bark and wood
2. (Forestry) the bark and wood of Quassia amara and of a related tree, Picrasma excelsa, used in furniture making
3. (Pharmacology) a bitter compound extracted from this bark and wood, formerly used as a tonic and anthelmintic, now used in insecticides
[C18: from New Latin, named after Graman Quassi, a slave who discovered (1730) the medicinal value of the root]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkwɒʃ ə, -i ə)

n., pl. -sias.
1. a shrub or small tree, Quassia amara, of tropical America, having pinnate leaves, showy red flowers, and wood with a bitter taste.
2. a prepared form of the wood of any of several trees of the genus Quassia, used as an insecticide or to dispel intestinal worms.
[1755–65; < New Latin, after Quassi, 18th-century slave in Dutch Guiana who discovered its medicinal properties]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.quassia - a bitter compound used as an insecticide and tonic and vermifugequassia - a bitter compound used as an insecticide and tonic and vermifuge; extracted from the wood and bark of trees of the genera Quassia and Picrasma
Jamaica quassia - similar to the extract from Quassia amara
organic compound - any compound of carbon and another element or a radical
2.quassia - handsome South American shrub or small tree having bright scarlet flowers and yielding a valuable fine-grained yellowish woodquassia - handsome South American shrub or small tree having bright scarlet flowers and yielding a valuable fine-grained yellowish wood; yields the bitter drug quassia from its wood and bark
bitterwood tree - any of various trees or shrubs of the family Simaroubaceae having wood and bark with a bitter taste
genus Quassia - tropical trees and shrubs with pinnate leaves and large scarlet flowers; bark is medicinal
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"I've got a capital little cup among my traps, and I'll give it to you to drink your milk in, as it is made of wood that is supposed to improve whatever is put into it something like a quassia cup.
Mike and his wife decided to name their project after the Quassia Amara flowering tree.
Effective extracts, such as bitterwood (Quassia amara, Simaroubaceae), wild "tacaco" (Sechium pittieri, Cucurbitaceae), mother of cocoa (Gliricidia sepium, Fabaceae), wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia, Asteraceae), balsam pear (Momordica charantia, Cucurbitaceae) and fish bean (Tephrosia vogelii, Fabaceae), contain a large array of substances which seem to work in a synergistic way (Hilje, 2007).
All these studies reported on topical rosacea treatments and included the following polyphenols: silymarin from milk thistle; licochalcone from Chinese licorice; an extract from quassia; and flavonoids from Chrysanthellum indicum.
The gastrointestinal activity of an aqueous extract of the dry wood of Quassia amara.
Evaluation of the analgesic and antiedematogenic activities of Quassia amara bark extract.
Among those plants is Quassia amara--sometimes known as bitterroot.
However, the use of plants such as tobacco leaves, Sabadilla officinale and Quassia spp extracts for fumigation dates into ages.
Simaroubaceae Fresh leaf (Bitter wood) (quassia family) Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.
He touts the company's detoxifiers, including one made from the green hulls of black walnuts, the bark of a South American tree (the quassia) and the buds of organic cloves.