agnus castus

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English[edit]

An agnus castus tree
Vitex agnus-castus

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἄγνος (ágnos), confused with ἁγνός (hagnós, chaste); + by reinforcement Latin castus (chaste).

Noun[edit]

agnus castus (plural agnus castuses)

  1. A tree, Vitex agnus-castus, formerly believed to preserve chastity.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069:, II.4.1.iii, 1813, Volume 2, page 94:
      [] some herbs provoke lust; some again, as agnus castus, waterlilly, quite extinguish seed  [] .

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