Guin"ea (?), n.
A district on the west coast of Africa (formerly noted for its export of gold and slaves) after which the Guinea fowl, Guinea grass, Guinea peach, etc., are named.
A gold coin of England current for twenty-one shillings sterling, or about five dollars, but not coined since the issue of sovereigns in 1817.
The guinea, so called from the Guinea gold out of which it
was first struck, was proclaimed in 1663, and to go for twenty shillings; but it never went for less than twenty-one shillings.
Guinea corn. Bot. See Durra. -- Guinea Current Geog., a current in the Atlantic Ocean setting southwardly into the Bay of Benin on the coast of Guinea.-- Guinea dropper one who cheats by dropping counterfeit guineas. [Obs.] Gay. -- Guinea fowl, Guinea hen Zool., an African gallinaceous bird, of the genus Numida, allied to the pheasants. The common domesticated species (N. meleagris), has a colored fleshy horn on each aide of the head, and is of a dark gray color, variegated with small white spots. The crested Guinea fowl (N. cristata) is a finer species.-- Guinea grains Bot., grains of Paradise, or amomum. See Amomum. -- Guinea grass Bot., a tall strong forage grass (Panicum jumentorum) introduced. from Africa into the West Indies and Southern United States. -- Guinea-hen flower Bot., a liliaceous flower (Fritillaria Meleagris) with petals spotted like the feathers of the Guinea hen. -- Guinea peach. See under Peach. -- Guinea pepper Bot., the pods of the Xylopia aromatica, a tree of the order Anonaceae, found in tropical West Africa. They are also sold under the name of Piper Aethiopicum. --Guinea pig. [Prob. a mistake for Guiana pig.] (a) Zool. A small Brazilian rodent (Cavia cobaya), about seven inches in length and usually of a white color, with spots of orange and black.<-- called also cavy -- used commonly as an experimental animal in laboratory research. (c). metaphorically, any animal or person used in an experiment; -- often applied to people who are unwillingly or unknowingly subjected by authorities to policies or procedures which might cause bodily or mental harm. --> (b) A contemptuous sobriquet. Smollett<-- obs in this sense now. -->. -- Guinea plum Bot., the fruit of Parinarium excelsum, a large West African tree of the order Chrysobalaneae, having a scarcely edible fruit somewhat resembling a plum, which is also called gray plum and rough-skin plum. -- Guinea worm Zool., a long and slender African nematoid worm (Filaria Medinensis) of a white color. It lives in the cellular tissue of man, beneath the skin, and produces painful sores.
© Webster 1913.