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Heath

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Heath

1. (Science: botany) a low shrub (erica, or Calluna, vulgaris), with minute evergreen leaves, and handsome clusters of pink flowers. It is used in Great Britain for brooms, thatch, beds for the poor, and for heating ovens. It is also called heather, and ling. Also, any species of the genus erica, of which several are European, and many more are south african, some of great beauty.

2. A place overgrown with heath; any cheerless tract of country overgrown with shrubs or coarse herbage. Their stately growth, though bare, stands on the blasted heath.

(Science: zoology) (Milton) heath cock, the blackcock. See heath grouse (below).

(Science: botany) heath grass, a European thrush which frequents heaths; the ring ouzel.

Origin: oe. Heth waste land, the plant heath, as. H; akin to D. & g. Heide, Icel. Heir waste land, dan. Hede, Sw. Hed, goth. Haipi field, L. Bucetum a cow pasture; cf. W. Coed a wood, Skr. Kshtra field.