lic·o·rice (lĭkər-ĭsh, lĭkrĭsh, -ər-ĭs)
a. A Mediterranean perennial plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) of the pea family, having blue flowers, pinnately compound leaves, and a sweet, distinctively flavored root.
b. The root of this plant, used as a flavoring in candy, liqueurs, tobacco, and medicines.
c. Any of various similar plants.
a. A confection made from or flavored with the licorice root.
b. A chewy confection made from sugar and corn syrup with the addition of various flavorings, often manufactured in long flexible tubes.
[Middle English licoris, from Old French, from Late Latin liquirītia, alteration (influenced by Latin liquēre, to flow) of Latin glycyrrhiza, root of licorice, from Greek glukurrhiza : glukus, sweet + rhiza, root; see wrād- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.