1. any of a genus (Quassia) of shrubs and trees of the quassia family
2. the wood of either of two tropical trees (Picrasma excela or Quassia amara) of the quassia family, used in making furniture
3. a bitter drug extracted from this wood, used in insecticides and, formerly, in medicine
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, compiled by the
editors of Webster’s New World Dictionaries. Copyright © 2010 by Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Word origin of 'quassia'ModL, after Graman Quassi, black slave of Suriname who prescribed it for fever, c. 1730