oil of wintergreen


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Wintergreen \Win"ter*green`\, n. (Bot.)
   A plant which keeps its leaves green through the winter.
   [1913 Webster]

   Note: In England, the name wintergreen is applied to the
         species of Pyrola which in America are called
         English wintergreen, and shin leaf (see Shin leaf,
         under Shin.) In America, the name wintergreen is
         given to Gaultheria procumbens, a low evergreen
         aromatic plant with oval leaves clustered at the top of
         a short stem, and bearing small white flowers followed
         by red berries; -- called also checkerberry, and
         sometimes, though improperly, partridge berry.
         [1913 Webster]

   Chickweed wintergreen, a low perennial primulaceous herb
      (Trientalis Americana); -- also called star flower.

   Flowering wintergreen, a low plant (Polygala paucifolia)
      with leaves somewhat like those of the wintergreen
      (Gaultheria), and bearing a few showy, rose-purple
      blossoms.

   oil of wintergreen, An aromatic oil, consisting almost
      entirely of methyl salicylate (CH3CO.O.C6H4.OH),
      obtained by distillation of an extract of the wintergreen
      (Gaultheria procumbens); it can also be obtained from
      some other plants. It is used as a flavoring agent for
      tooth powders and pastes, sometimes combined with menthol
      or eucalyptus. It is called also oil of teaberry, {oil
      of partridgeberry}, and oil of gaultheria.

   Spotted wintergreen, a low evergreen plant ({Chimaphila
      maculata}) with ovate, white-spotted leaves.
      [1913 Webster + PJC]
.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Essential \Es*sen"tial\ ([e^]s*s[e^]n"sjal), a. [Cf. F.
   essentiel. See Essence.]
   1. Belonging to the essence, or that which makes an object,
      or class of objects, what it is.
      [1913 Webster]

            Majestic as the voice sometimes became, there was
            forever in it an essential character of
            plaintiveness.                        --Hawthorne.
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   2. Hence, really existing; existent.
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            Is it true, that thou art but a name,
            And no essential thing?               --Webster
                                                  (1623).
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   3. Important in the highest degree; indispensable to the
      attainment of an object; indispensably necessary.
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            Judgment's more essential to a general
            Than courage.                         --Denham.
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            How to live? -- that is the essential question for
            us.                                   --H. Spencer.
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   4. Containing the essence or characteristic portion of a
      substance, as of a plant; highly rectified; pure; hence,
      unmixed; as, an essential oil. "Mine own essential
      horror." --Ford.
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   5. (Mus.) Necessary; indispensable; -- said of those tones
      which constitute a chord, in distinction from ornamental
      or passing tones.
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   6. (Med.) Idiopathic; independent of other diseases.
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   Essential character (Biol.), the prominent characteristics
      which serve to distinguish one genus, species, etc., from
      another.

   Essential disease, Essential fever (Med.), one that is
      not dependent on another.

   Essential oils (Chem.), a class of volatile oils, extracted
      from plants, fruits, or flowers, having each its
      characteristic odor, and hot burning taste. They are used
      in essences, perfumery, etc., and include many varieties
      of compounds; as lemon oil is a terpene, {oil of bitter
      almonds} an aldehyde, oil of wintergreen an ethereal
      salt, etc.; -- called also volatile oils in distinction
      from the fixed or nonvolatile.
      [1913 Webster]
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