Main meanings of ricinus in English

: ricinus1ricinus2

ricinus1

noun

  • Originally: the castor oil plant, Ricinus communis, a shrub native to the Mediterranean, eastern Africa, and parts of Asia and naturalized throughout the tropics, having alternate palmate leaves and seeds which are the source of castor oil and of the toxic substance ricin. In later use also (in form Ricinus): the genus of the family Euphorbiaceae to which this plant belongs.

    The variability in colour and growth habit exhibited by R. communis led early botanists to believe that it was more than one species, but the genus Ricinus is now considered to be monospecific.

Pronunciation

ricinus

/ˈrɪsɪnəs/ /ˈrʌɪsɪnəs/

Origin

Old English; earliest use found in Pseudo-Apuleius' Herbarium. From classical Latin ricinus castor oil plant (Pliny), of unknown origin.

Main meanings of ricinus in English

: ricinus1ricinus2

ricinus2

noun

rare Zoology
  • A tick; especially the dog tick, Ixodes ricinus.

    This is unconnected with bird lice of the genus Ricinus (named by C. B. de Geer Mém. l'hist. des insectes (1778) VII. 69).

Pronunciation

ricinus

/ˈrʌɪsɪnəs/ /ˈrɪsɪnəs/

Origin

Mid 17th century; earliest use found in John Rowland (fl. c1658). From classical Latin ricinus parasite on sheep or other animals, tick, of unknown origin; perhaps the same word as classical Latin ricinus. Adopted in scientific Latin as ricinus, specific name (in Acarus ricinus, LinnaeusSystema naturae (ed. 10, 1758) I. 615).