noun, plural ne·pen·thes.
- any of various tropical Asian and Australian pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes, having leaves usually in the form of cylindrical tubes.
- a drug or drink, or the plant yielding it, mentioned by ancient writers as having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble.
- anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble.
- a drug, or the plant providing it, that ancient writers referred to as a means of forgetting grief or trouble
- anything that produces sleep, forgetfulness, or pleasurable dreaminess
n.1570s, nepenthes, from Greek nepenthes, from ne- “no, not” (see un-) + penthos “pain, grief,” from PIE *kwent(h)- “to suffer” (see pathos). A drug of Egypt mentioned in the “Odyssey” as capable of banishing grief or trouble from the mind. The -s is a proper part of the word, but likely was mistaken in English as a plural affix and dropped.