gal·an·gal (gălən-găl′, gə-lănggəl)
1. Either of two plants (Alpinia galanga or A. officinarum) of eastern Asia, having pungent, aromatic rhizomes used medicinally and as seasoning.
2. The dried roots of either of these plants. In both senses also called galingale.
[Middle English galingale, from Old French galingal, garingal, from Medieval Latin galinga, galanga, from Arabic ḫalunjān, ḫūlunjān, from Persian ḫūlanjān; probably akin to Sanskrit kulañjaḥ, kulañjanaḥ, galangal (A. galanga).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.