nepenthes


nepenthes

noun, plural ne·pen·thes.

  1. nepenthe.
  2. any of various tropical Asian and Australian pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes, having leaves usually in the form of cylindrical tubes.

noun

  1. a drug or drink, or the plant yielding it, mentioned by ancient writers as having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble.
  2. anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble.

noun

  1. a drug, or the plant providing it, that ancient writers referred to as a means of forgetting grief or trouble
  2. 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.

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