cham·o·mile or cam·o·mile (kămə-mīl′, -mēl′)
1. An aromatic perennial herb (Chamaemelum nobile) in the composite family, native to Europe and the Mediterranean region, having feathery foliage and flower heads with white rays and yellow centers.
2. A similar, related Eurasian annual plant (Matricaria recutita).
3. The dried flower heads of either one of these plants, used to make an herbal tea and yielding an oil used in commercial flavorings and perfumery.
[Middle English camomille, from Old French, from Late Latin chamomilla, alteration of Latin chamaemēlon, from Greek khamaimēlon : khamai, on the ground; see dhghem- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + mēlon, apple.]
(click for a larger image)chamomile
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.