Heath(hth), n. [OE. heth waste land, the plant heath, AS. h; akin to D. & G. heide, Icel. heir waste land, Dan. hede, Sw. hed, Goth. haii field, L. bucetum a cow pasture; cf. W. coed a wood, Skr. kshtra field. 20.] 1. (Bot.) (a) A low shrub (Erica vulgaris or Calluna vulgaris), with minute evergreen leaves, and handsome clusters of pink flowers. It is used in Great Britain for brooms, thatch, beds for the poor, and for heating ovens. It is also called heather, and ling. (b) Also, any species of the genus Erica, of which several are European, and many more are South African, some of great beauty. See Illust. of Heather.
2. A place overgrown with heath; any cheerless tract of country overgrown with shrubs or coarse herbage.
Their stately growth, though bare,Milton
Stands on the blasted heath.
(Zol.), the blackcock. See
Heath grouse (below). --
(Bot.), a kind of perennial grass, of the genus Triodia (Triodia decumbens), growing on dry heaths. --
(Zol.), a European grouse (Tetrao tetrix), which inhabits heaths; -- called also
moor fowl. The male is called
heath cock, and
blackcock; the female,
heath hen, and
gray hen. --
Heath grouse (above). --
(Bot.), a species of bitter vetch (Lathyrus macrorhizus), the tubers of which are eaten, and in Scotland are used to flavor whisky. --
(Zol.), a European thrush which frequents heaths; the ring ouzel.
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Tue 16th July 2019