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asafoetida resinous gum with a strong smell. XIV. — medL., lit. ‘stinking asa’, i.e. asa (usu. derived from a Persian azā mastic, but this word is of doubtful authenticity), fœtida, fem. of fœtidus FETID.

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asafoetida A resin extracted from the oriental umbelliferous plant Narthex asafoetida, with a bitter flavour and strong odour, used widely in Oriental and Middle‐Eastern cooking, and in small amounts in sauces and pickles. (The strength of its aroma is suggested by its French and German names: respectively, merde du diable and Teufelsdreck.)