licorice


licorice
/lik"euhr ish, lik"rish, lik"euh ris/, n.
1. a Eurasian plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra, of the legume family.
2. the sweet-tasting, dried root of this plant or an extract made from it, used in medicine, confectionery, etc.
3. a candy flavored with licorice root.
4. any of various related or similar plants.
Also, liquorice.
[1175-1225; ME lycorys < AF < VL *liquiritia for L glycyrrhiza < Gk glykýrriza sweetroot (plant), equiv. to glyký(s) sweet + rhíza ROOT1; see -IA]

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Perennial herb (Glycyrrhiza glabra) of the pea family (see legume) and the flavouring, confection, and medicine made from its roots.

Native to southern Europe, the plant is cultivated around the Mediterranean and in parts of the U.S. It grows to 3 ft (1 m) and bears graceful compound leaves, blue-violet flower clusters, and flat, flexible seedpods 3–4 in. (7–10 cm) long. It is 42 times sweeter than table sugar, and its flavour, similar to anise, can mask unpleasant medicinal tastes.

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herb
(species Glycyrrhiza glabra),also spelled  Liquorice,  
 perennial herb of the Fabaceae family, and the flavouring, confection, and medicine made from its roots, similar in their sweet, slightly bitter flavour to anise. The Greek name glykyrrhiza, of which the word licorice is a corruption, means “sweet root.”

      Native to southern Europe, licorice is cultivated around the Mediterranean and in parts of the United States. An effective mask for the taste of medicines, licorice is an ingredient in cough lozenges, syrups, and elixirs. It is a flavouring agent in candies and tobacco. In medicine, licorice has been used to treat peptic ulcers and Addison's disease.

      The herb may grow up to 1 metre (3 feet) tall and has compound leaves with four to eight oval leaflets, axillary clusters of blue flowers, and flat pods from 7 to 10 centimetres (3 to 4 inches) long. The roots used are about 1 m long and about 1 cm (0.4 in.) in diameter. They are soft, fibrous, and flexible and are coloured bright yellow inside. The distinctive sweetness of licorice is imparted by a substance called glycyrrhizin.

      The preparation of the juice by boiling crushed and ground roots is an industry along the Mediterranean coasts. The pliable, semi-vitreous stick form of licorice candy, also called licorice paste or black sugar, is processed from the thickened juice.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Licorice — Lic o*rice (l[i^]k [ o]*r[i^]s), n. [OE. licoris, through old French, fr. L. liquiritia, corrupted fr. glycyrrhiza, Gr. glyky rriza; glyky s sweet + ri za root. Cf. {Glycerin}, {Glycyrrhiza}, {Wort}.] [Written also {liquorice}.] 1. (Bot.) A plant …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • licorice — also liquorice, c.1200, from Anglo Fr. lycoryc, O.Fr. licorece (also recolice), from L.L. liquiritia, alteration of L. glychyrrhiza, from Gk. glykyrrhiza, lit. sweet root, from glykys sweet (see GLUCOSE (Cf. glucose)) + rhiza …   Etymology dictionary

  • licorice — see liquorice …   Modern English usage

  • licorice — (Brit. liquorice) ► NOUN ▪ a sweet, chewy, aromatic black substance made from the juice of a root and used as a sweet and in medicine. ORIGIN Old French licoresse, from Greek glukurrhiza sweet root …   English terms dictionary

  • licorice — [lik′ə rish, lik′rish; ] occas. [ lik′ə ris] n. [ME licorys < OFr licorece < LL liquiritia, altered (by assoc. with liquor: see LIQUOR) < L glycyrrhiza < Gr glykys, sweet (see GLYCERIN) + rhiza, ROOT1] 1. a European perennial plant… …   English World dictionary

  • licorice — noun Etymology: Middle English licorice, from Anglo French licoris, from Late Latin liquiritia, alteration of Latin glycyrrhiza, from Greek glykyrrhiza, from glykys sweet + rhiza root more at dulcet, root Date: 13th century 1. a. the dried root… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • licorice — paprastasis saldymedis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Pupinių šeimos prieskoninis, vaistinis augalas (Glycyrrhiza glabra), paplitęs Azijoje, Europoje ir Afrikoje. Naudojamas maisto priedams (kvėpikliams) gaminti, iš jo gaunamas eterinis… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Licorice EP — Infobox Album Name = Licorice EP Type = EP Artist = Snowden Released = 2005 Recorded = Genre = Alternative rock Indie rock Length = 15:39 Label = Producer = Reviews = Last album = This album = Next album = Licorice EP is Snowden s third release,… …   Wikipedia

  • Licorice — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Licorice peut être : Un synonyme de l édulcorant glycyrrhizine ; Licorice, un titre de l album Special Herbs, Vols. 7 8 de Daniel Dumile… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • licorice — SYN: glycyrrhiza. * * * lic·o·rice or chiefly Brit li·quo·rice lik( ə) rish, rəs n 1) a European leguminous plant of the genus Glycyrrhiza (G. glabra) with pinnate leaves and spikes of blue flowers 2 a) GLYCYRRHIZA (2) b) an extract of… …   Medical dictionary