asafetida

/as'euh fet"i deuh/, n. Chem.
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.
Also, asafoetida, asfetida. Also called devil's dung, food of the gods.
[1350-1400; ME < ML asafoetida, equiv. to asa ( < Pers aza mastic, gum) + L foetida, fem. of foetidus FETID]

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      gum resin prized as a condiment in India and Iran, where it is used to flavour curries, meatballs, and pickles. It has been used in Europe and the United States in perfumes and for flavouring. Acrid in taste, it emits a strong onionlike odour because of its organic sulfur compounds. It is obtained chiefly from the plant Ferula foetida of the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). The whole plant is used as a fresh vegetable, the inner portion of the full-grown stem being regarded as a delicacy. The plant may grow as high as 2 m (7 feet). After four years, when it is ready to yield asafetida, the stems are cut down close to the root, and a milky juice flows out that quickly sets into a solid resinous mass. A freshly exposed surface of asafetida has a translucent, pearly white appearance, but it soon darkens in the air, becoming first pink and finally reddish brown.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Asafetida — As a*fet i*da, Asafoetida As a*f[oe]t i*da, n. [Asa + L. foetidus fetid.] The fetid gum resin or inspissated juice of a large umbelliferous plant ({Ferula asaf[oe]tida}) of Persia and the East Indies. It is used in medicine as an antispasmodic.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • asafetida — (n.) late 14c., from M.L. asa (Latinized from Pers. aza mastic ) + foetida, fem. of foetidus stinking (see FETID (Cf. fetid)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • asafetida — asafètida ž DEFINICIJA bot. osušeni mliječni sok azanta (Ferula asa foetida) iz porodice štitarki (Umbelliferae), jakog i specifičnog mirisa, lijek i začin (u indijskoj kuhinji); azant ETIMOLOGIJA srlat. asafoetida ← perz. aza: smola + lat.… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • asafétida — f. asa fétida …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • asafetida — or asafoetida [as΄ə fet′ə də] n. [ME < ML asa (< Pers āzā, gum) + L foetida, fem. of foetidus, FETID] a bad smelling gum resin obtained from various Asiatic plants (genus Ferula) of the umbel family: it was formerly used to treat some… …   English World dictionary

  • asafétida — (Del lat. asa foetida < foetidus, hediondo + persa aze, almáciga.) ► sustantivo femenino BOTÁNICA Planta umbelífera, perenne, de flores amarillas y fruto seco en cápsula estrellada. (Ferula assa foetida.) TAMBIÉN asa fétida * * * asafétida f.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • asafetida — dvokiančioji ferula statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Salierinių šeimos prieskoninis, vaistinis augalas (Ferula assa foetida), paplitęs pietvakarių Azijoje (Irane). Iš jo gaminami maisto priedai (kvėpikliai). atitikmenys: lot. Ferula assa… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • asafetida — or asafoetida noun Etymology: Middle English asafetida, from Medieval Latin asafoetida, from Persian azā mastic + Latin foetida, feminine of foetidus fetid Date: 14th century the dried fetid gum resin of the root of several west Asian plants… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • asafetida — kvapioji ferula statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Salierinių šeimos prieskoninis, vaistinis augalas (Ferula foetida), paplitęs pietvakarių Azijoje. Iš jo gaminami maisto priedai (kvėpikliai). atitikmenys: lot. Ferula foetida angl. asafetida;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • asafetida — A gum resin, the inspissated exudate from the root of Ferula foetida (family Umbelliferae); malodorous material used as a repellent against dogs, cats, and rabbits, and formerly used as an antispasmodic; in Asia, used as a condiment and flavoring …   Medical dictionary

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