Any of various tall plants of the Eurasian genus Ferula of the parsley family, having hollow stems, finely divided foliage, and large yellow inflorescences, especially F. communis, whose sturdy dried stalks were used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to make walking sticks and thyrsi. Some giant fennel species are toxic and are noxious weeds on grazing grounds.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.