1 any plant of the genus Gentiana or Gentianella, found esp. in mountainous regions, and having usu. vivid blue flowers.
2 (in full gentian bitter) a liquor extracted from the root of the gentian.
Phrases and idioms:
gentian violet a violet dye used as an antiseptic, esp. in the treatment of burns.
Etymology: OE f. L gentiana f. Gentius king of Illyria

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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  • Gentian — Gen tian (j[e^]n shan or j[e^]n sh[i^]*an), n. [OE. genciane, F. gentiane, L. gentiana, fr. Gentius, an Illyrian king, said to have discovered its properties.] (Bot.) Any one of a genus ({Gentiana}) of herbaceous plants with opposite leaves and a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gentian — [jen′shən] adj. [ME genciane < OFr gentiane < L gentiana, of Illyrian orig.] designating a family (Gentianaceae, order Gentianales) of dicotyledonous plants, including the fringed gentians and the closed gentians n. 1. any of a large genus… …   English World dictionary

  • gentian — late 14c., genciane, from O.Fr. genciane and directly from L. gentiana, said by Pliny to be named for Gentius, king of ancient Illyria who discovered its properties. This likely is a folk etymology, but the word may be Illyrian nonetheless, since …   Etymology dictionary

  • gentian — ► NOUN ▪ a plant of temperate and mountainous regions with violet or blue trumpet shaped flowers. ORIGIN allegedly named after Gentius, king of Illyria, who discovered the plant s medicinal properties …   English terms dictionary

  • Gentian — Taxobox name = Gentian image width = 250px image caption = Gentiana verna regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Gentianales familia = Gentianaceae genus = Gentiana L. subdivision ranks = Species subdivision = See …   Wikipedia

  • gentian — /jen sheuhn/, n. 1. any of several plants of the genera Gentiana, Gentianella, and Gentianopsis, having usually blue, or sometimes yellow, white, or red, flowers, as the fringed gentian of North America, or Gentiana lutea, of Europe. Cf. gentian… …   Universalium

  • gentian — gen·tian jen chən n 1) any of two genera (Gentiana and Dasystephana) of herbs belonging to a family (Gentianaceae, the gentian family) and having opposite smooth leaves and showy usu. blue flowers 2) the rhizome and roots of a yellow flowered… …   Medical dictionary

  • gentian — noun Etymology: Middle English gencian, from Anglo French genciane, from Latin gentiana Date: 14th century 1. any of numerous herbs (family Gentianaceae, the gentian family, and especially genus Gentiana) with opposite smooth leaves and showy… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gentian — UK [ˈdʒenʃən] / US noun [countable] Word forms gentian : singular gentian plural gentians a plant with small dark blue flowers that grows in the mountains of western Europe …   English dictionary

  • gentian — gen•tian [[t]ˈdʒɛn ʃən[/t]] n. 1) pln any plant of the gentian family, esp. the genus Gentiana, having usu. blue but sometimes yellow, white, or red flowers 2) pln the root of a European species of gentian, G. lutea, used as a tonic • Etymology:… …   From formal English to slang

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