Meaning of asafetida

as•a•fet•i•da

Pronunciation: (as"u-fet'i-du), [key]
— n. Chem.
  1. a soft, brown, lumpy gum resin having a bitter, acrid taste and an obnoxious odor, obtained from the roots of several Near Eastern plants belonging to the genus Ferula, of the parsley family: formerly used in medicine as a carminative and antispasmodic.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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