Pronunciation: (kwosh'u, -ē-u), [key]
1. a shrub or small tree, Quassia amara, of tropical America, having pinnate leaves, showy red flowers, and wood with a bitter taste. Cf. quassia family.
2. any of several other trees having bitter-tasting wood.
3. Also called bitterwood. Chem., Pharm.a prepared form of the heartwood of any of these trees, used as an insecticide and in medicine as a tonic to dispel intestinal worms.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.