a soft, brown, lumpy gum resin having a bitter, acrid taste and an obnoxious odor, obtained from the roots of several near eastern plants belonging to the genus ferula, of the parsley family: formerly used in medicine as a carminative and antispasmodic.
historical examples

it has been artificially prepared from coniferin, a substance found in the sap-wood of fir-trees, and from asafoetida.
birds and nature vol. 9 no. 1 [january 1901] various

saffron, asafoetida, and the gum ammoniac plant, are indigenous in parts of it.
the seven great monarchies of the ancient eastern world, vol 6. (of 7): parthia george rawlinson

his wry faces were from no indigestion, but from the savour of asafoetida, unrelieved by brandy.
feats on the fiord harriet martineau

asafoetida, jaggery and other articles are then given, not to the mother but to the father.
the tribes and castes of the central provinces of india – volume iv of iv r.v. russell

everything was running over with wine, truffles, and asafoetida.
salammbo gustave flaubert

other products are manna, suffron, asafoetida and other gums.
encyclopaedia britannica, 11th edition, volume 15, slice 7 various

it is generally a greasy stew of mutton, soaked with rancid b-tter and saffron, and seasoned with asafoetida.
mogreb-el-acksa r. b. cunninghame graham

some take it up like a hot horseshoe, and hold it off at arm’s length like a druggist pouring tincture of asafoetida in a bottle.
heart of the west o. henry

he reproached himself for having brought neither camphor nor asafoetida, to administer with the corn-brandy.
feats on the fiord harriet martineau

a bitter resin with an unpleasant onion-like smell, obtained from the roots of some umbelliferous plants of the genus ferula: formerly used as a carminative, antispasmodic, and expectorant

alternative spelling of asafetida (q.v.); also see oe.

late 14c., from medieval latin asa (latinized from persian aza “mastic”) + foetida, fem. of foetidus “stinking” (see fetid).

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