Lic"o*rice (?), n. [OE. licoris, though old French, fr. L. liquiritia, corrupted fr. glycyrrhiza, Gr. ; sweet + root. Cf. Glycerin, Glycyrrhiza, Wort.] [Written also liquorice.]
A plant of the genus Glycyrrhiza (G. glabra), the root of which abounds with a juice, and is much used in demulcent compositions.
The inspissated juice of licorice root, used as a confection and medicinal purposes.
Licorice fern Bot., a name of several kinds of polypody which have rootstocks of a sweetish flavor. -- Licorice sugar. Chem. See Glycyrrhizin. -- Licorice weed Bot., the tropical plant Scapania aulcis. -- Mountain licorice Bot., a kind of clover (Trifolium alpinum), found in the Alps. It has large purplish flowers and a sweetish perennial rootstock. -- Wild licorice. Bot. (a) The North American perennial herb Glycyrrhiza lepidota. (b) Certain broad-leaved cleavers (Galium circaezans and G. lanceolatum). (c) The leguminous climber Abrus precatorius, whose scarlet and black seeds are called black-eyed Susans. Its roots are used as a substitute for those of true licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
© Webster 1913.