Pronunciation: (hem'lok"), [key]
1. a poisonous plant, Conium maculatum, of the parsley family, having purple-spotted stems, finely divided leaves, and umbels of small white flowers, used medicinally as a powerful sedative.
2. a poisonous drink made from this plant.
3. any of various other plants, esp. of the genus Cicuta, as the water hemlock.
4. Also called hem'lock spruce'. any of several coniferous trees of the genus Tsuga, native to the U.S., characterized by a pyramidal manner of growth. Cf. eastern hemlock, western hemlock.
5. the soft, light wood of a hemlock tree, used in making paper, in the construction of buildings, etc.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.