Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to samphire: Marsh samphire


1. See glasswort.
2. An edible coastal plant (Crithmum maritimum) in the parsley family, native to Eurasia, having fleshy compound leaves and small white flowers grouped in compound umbels, and sometimes pickled.

[Alteration of Early Modern English sampiere, the plant C. maritimum, from French (herbe de) Saint Pierre, (herb of) Saint Peter, after Saint Pierre, Saint Peter, a patron saint of fisherman (the plant being so called because it grows on rocks near the sea, the name perhaps also being influenced by French pierre, rock).]
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.


(ˈsæmˌfaɪə) or


1. (Plants) Also called: rock samphire an umbelliferous plant, Crithmum maritimum, of Eurasian coasts, having fleshy divided leaves and clusters of small greenish-white flowers
2. (Plants) golden samphire a Eurasian coastal plant, Inula crithmoides, with fleshy leaves and yellow flower heads: family Asteraceae (composites)
3. (Plants) another name for glasswort1
4. (Plants) any of several other plants of coastal areas
[C16 sampiere, from French herbe de Saint Pierre Saint Peter's herb; perhaps influenced by camphire camphor]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈsæm faɪər)

1. a European succulent plant, Crithmum maritimum, of the parsley family, having small, whitish flowers and growing in clefts of rock near the sea.
[1535–45; earlier sampiere < Middle French (herbe de) Saint Pierre (herb of) Saint Peter]
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.samphire - fleshy maritime plant having fleshy stems with rudimentary scalelike leaves and small spikes of minute flowerssamphire - fleshy maritime plant having fleshy stems with rudimentary scalelike leaves and small spikes of minute flowers; formerly used in making glass
herb, herbaceous plant - a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
The sailors at the fore and mizzen had come down; the line tubs were fixed in their places; the cranes were thrust out; the mainyard was backed, and the three boats swung over the sea like three samphire baskets over high cliffs.
In the midst of receipts for "Rabbits, and Chickens mumbled, Pickled Samphire, Skirret Pye, Baked Tansy," and other forgotten delicacies, there were directions for the preparation of several lotions for the preservation of beauty.
"Aunt March is a regular samphire, is she not?" observed Amy, tasting her mixture critically.
"Don't say `larks!'" implored Amy, as a return snub for the samphire' correction.
A little billow, spreading wide, gave a slight roll to the boat, and some samphire reeds flapped before it.
Scotch thistle and carline thistle, pistachio and cyclamen leaves, the rock samphire and golden samphire, both of which we discover at Cape Greco, are added to cooking pots and salads in Cyprus.
Lemon is one of the great flavour matches for fish, samphire is a sea vegetable so naturally works well with fish, and so on.
I chose the bon bon crab with brown crab mayonnaise and samphire salad (PS8.50), and the 8oz sirloin of beef steak served with tomato, grilled Portobello mushroom, triple-cooked chips and peppercorn sauce (PS23.50).
SmAllEr Samphire is another ingredient which will grow well in a sunny spot in a confined space.
Five star food in a stylish seafront location - dining out is a delight at Llandudno's latest venue, the Samphire Brasserie and Bar in the historic Cae Mor Hotel.
The vegan alternative is made from banana blossom marinated in seaweed and the sea plant samphire to give it a fishy taste, then deep fried.