absinthian, adj. : Oxford English Dictionary


Pronunciation: , , 
Forms: 
1600s 1800s– absinthian, 1800s apsinthian. (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
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Origin: A borrowing from Latin, combined with an English element. Etymons: Latin absinthium  , .
Etymology: absinthium   + . Compare earlier

In form apsinthian   after ancient Greek ἀψίνθιον or Hellenistic Greek ἄψινθος wormwood (for both, see ).

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rare. Chiefly literary.

a1635   T. Randolph
(1638)
66
  
Best Physique then, when gall with sugar meets, Tempring Absinthian bitternesse with sweets.
1833   W. E. Wall in 8 659/1  
Despair presents her cup Apsinthian.
1883   E. Martin Consolation in l. 19  
Prayer can empty life’s absinthian gall, Rest and peace and quiet wait its call.
1969   T. Merton 227  
The skinny shadows of symbolist poets..linger in the absinthian green of the Boulevard trees.
1982   H. Mudd 76  
I struggled in those depths with the absinthian she-monster.

a1635—1982(Hide quotations)

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This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, September 2009; most recently modified version published online December 2021).

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