1. <botany> The root of Ipomoea Turpethum, a plant of Ceylon, Malabar, and Australia, formerly used in medicine as a purgative; sometimes called vegetable turpeth.

2. <chemistry> A heavy yellow powder, Hg3O2SO4, which consists of a basic mercuric sulphate; called also turpeth mineral.

Origin: NL. Turpethum, fr. Per. Tirbid a cathartic, turbad a purgative root. Cf. Turbith

Alternative forms: turbeth, and turbith.

(01 Mar 1998)

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