From Middle English *mistelto, alteration (due to the final -n being mistaken for the old plural ending) of *mistelton, from Old English misteltān, mistiltān (“mistletoe”), from mistel (“birdlime, mistletoe, basil”) + tān (“twig, sprig”), equivalent to mistle + tan. Cognate with Danish mistelten, Icelandic mistilteinn. More at mistle.
mistletoe (plural mistletoes)
- Any of several parasitic evergreen plants with white berries that grow in the crowns of oaks, apple trees and other trees.
- A sprig of these plants used as a Christmas decoration.