Also found in: Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A starchy meal ground from the dried roots of various orchids chiefly of the genus Orchis, used for food and formerly as medicine.
[Turkish salep, sahlep, salep, orchid from which salep is made, from Ottoman Turkish sa'lep, sālep, from Arabic (ḫuṣā al)-ṯa'lab, (testicles of the) fox (from the appearance of the tubers); see ṯʕlb in Semitic roots.]
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.
(Botany) the dried ground starchy tubers of various orchids, used for food and formerly as drugs
[C18: via French and Turkish from Arabic sahlab, shortened from khusy ath-tha'lab, literally: fox's testicles, name of an orchid]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a starchy, demulcent drug or foodstuff consisting of the dried tubers of certain orchids.
[1730–40; < Turkish salep]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.