A tall plant (Alcea rosea syn. Althaea rosea) in the mallow family, native to the Middle East and widely cultivated for its showy clusters of very large, variously colored flowers. Also called althea.
[Middle English holihocke, marsh mallow : holi, holy; see HOLY + hoc, mallow (from Old English).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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:
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