1. <botany> The name of several poisonous umbelliferous herbs having finely cut leaves and small white flowers, as the Cicuta maculata, bulbifera, and virosa, and the Conium maculatum. See Conium.
The potion of hemlock administered to Socrates is by some thought to have been a decoction of Cicuta virosa, or water hemlock, by others, of Conium maculatum.
2. <botany> An evergreen tree common in North America (Abies, or Tsuga, Canadensis); hemlock spruce. "The murmuring pines and the hemlocks." (Longfellow)
3. The wood or timber of the hemlock tree. Ground hemlock, or Dwarf hemlock. See Ground.
Origin: OE. Hemeluc, humloc, AS. Hemlic, hymlic.
(01 Mar 1998)