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- a soft, brown, lumpy gum resin having a bitter, acrid taste and an obnoxious odor, obtained from the roots of several Near Eastern plants belonging to the genus Ferula, of the parsley family: formerly used in medicine as a carminative and antispasmodic.
- a bitter resin with an unpleasant onion-like smell, obtained from the roots of some umbelliferous plants of the genus Ferula: formerly used as a carminative, antispasmodic, and expectorant
alternative spelling of(q.v.); also see .
late 14c., from Medieval Latin asa (Latinized from Persian aza “mastic”) + foetida, fem. of foetidus “stinking” (see ).