1. (Science: botany) Any plant of the genus Carex, perennial, endogenous herbs, often growing in dense tufts in marshy places. They have triangular jointless stems, a spiked inflorescence, and long grasslike leaves which are usually rough on the margins and midrib. There are several hundred species.
The name is sometimes given to any other plant of the order Cyperaceae, which includes Carex, Cyperus, Scirpus, and many other genera of rushlike plants. These are plants that look a bit like grasses, but they belong to a different plant family, the Cyperaceae.
Origin: OE. Segge, AS. Secg; akin to LG. Segge; probably named from its bladelike appearance, and akin to L. Secare to cut, E. Saw a cutting instrument; cf. Ir. Seisg, W. Hesg. Cf. Hassock, Saw the instrument.