Any of numerous herbs, shrubs, or trees of the genus Euphorbia, characteristically having milky juice and a cluster of small unisexual flowers that are surrounded by a cuplike structure composed of fused bracts. Also called euphorbia.
[Middle English, from Old French espurge, from espurgier, to purge (from its use as a purgative), from Latin expūrgāre; see EXPURGATE.]
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