Via Middle English from Latin gentia, which, according to Pliny, was named after Gentius, the last king of Illyria, who supposedly discovered the plant's medicinal benefits. This has been dismissed as folk etymology but the word may still ultimately be of Illyrian origin, as -an is a common suffix in Illyrian words.
gentian (plural gentians)
- Any of various herbs of the family Gentianaceae found in temperate and mountainous regions with violet or blue flowers.
- The dried roots and rhizome of a European gentian, Gentiana lutea, used as a tonic.
- horse gentian (Triosteum spp.)
- white gentian (Gentiana alba)
- yellow gentian (Gentiana alba (US), Gentiana lutea)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- ^ Fowler, H.W., A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Oxford Univ. Press, 1926.