See Middle English wiche, from Old English wiċe (“pliant, bendable, weak”). Folk etymology refers to use by witches and other sorcerers of folkish magic using the plant in potions; however, compare German Zaubernuss (“witch hazel, literally 'magic nut'”).
witch hazel (countable and uncountable, plural witch hazels)
- (countable) Any of several small deciduous trees, of the genus Hamamelis, having yellow flowers
- (US) Hamamelis virginiana (eastern North