Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various, usually poisonous perennial herbs of the genus Aconitum, having tuberous roots, palmately lobed leaves, blue or white flowers with large hoodlike upper sepals, and an aggregate of follicles.
  • n. The dried leaves and roots of some of these plants, which yield a poisonous alkaloid that was formerly used medicinally.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The herb wolfsbane, or monkshood; any plant of the genus Aconitum, all the species of which are poisonous.
  • n. An extract or tincture obtained from Aconitum napellus, used as a poison and medicinally.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The herb wolfsbane, or monkshood; -- applied to any plant of the genus Aconitum (tribe Hellebore), all the species of which are poisonous.
  • n. An extract or tincture obtained from Aconitum napellus, used as a poison and medicinally.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The plant wolf's-bane or monk's-hood, Aconitum Napellus.
  • n. An extract or tincture of this plant, used as a poison and as a medicine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various usually poisonous plants of the genus Aconitum having tuberous roots and palmately lobed leaves and blue or white flowers

Etymologies

French aconit, from Latin aconītum, from Greek akonīton, perhaps from neuter sing. of akonītos, without dust or struggle : a-, without; see a-1 + konis, dust.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French aconit, from Latin aconitum, from Ancient Greek ἀκόνιτον (akoniton). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Pluto said he might, if he could overcome Cerberus without weapons; and this he did, struggling with the dog, with no protection but the lion's skin, and dragging him up to the light, where the foam that fell from the jaws of one of the three mouths produced the plant called aconite, or hellebore, which is dark and poisonous.

    Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8 A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more than 200 of the most prominent personages in History

  • But they must remember that it was almost impossible to detect certain vegetable poisons, such as aconite and atropia, without minute chemical analysis.

    Madame Midas

  • I also ran around outside with the Little Bird for a while and took this picture of our first flowers – winter aconite.

    Creative Every Day, Part 11: Recovery « Looking for Roots

  • The garden has countless seasons, from the first peeking up of the winter aconite through the early spring snows through the last carrots pulled from under their quilts of leaves in late December.

    It’s Always More Subtle Than You Think « Looking for Roots

  • Among the minor bulbs, safe choices are snowdrops (Galanthus); winter aconite (Eranthis); Scilla, Muscari, Chionodoxa and Hyacinthoides hispanica.

    The Brightest Bulbs

  • Even then, aconite was supposedly difficult to detect unless the medical examiner chemist was looking for it specifically.

    Betrayed

  • It was easy enough to get the small packet of powdered aconite root past the metal detectors and bomb-detection dogs.

    Betrayed

  • Winter aconite has always been the first bulb to bloom in winter.

    20 questions to test your gardening skills

  • And there, pushing up through the dead autumn leaves, would always be the first tight globes of winter aconite, gathering themselves into a carpet that would very soon burst into these yellow cups.

    Aconite Acolyte

  • It would normally be at this point that I would intervene with some suitably shallow, sneering, right-of-centre barb about how the aconite patch could do with a good carpeting of agent orange, but I will refrain and enjoin with diplo and p-w in a most heartful way, urging you to keep it up, in your most excellent Women's Realm way.

    Aconite Acolyte

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Comments

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  • Causes burning, tingling, and numbness of mouth, throat, and stomach, eventually affecting the entire body. It develops into a stomach ache, dizziness, prostration and convulsions. You die in a few hours if you have a teaspoon full.

    August 18, 2009

  • "He knew the powers not just of ordinary opiates but also of poisons such as aconite, from the root of the plant monkshood; atropine, from belladonna (or deadly nightshade); and rhus toxin from poison ivy. In large doses each could prove fatal, but when administered in tiny amounts, typically in combination with other agents, such compounds could produce a useful palette of physical reactions that mimicked the symptoms of known diseases...."
    —Erik Larson, Thunderstruck (New York: Crown Publishers, 2006), 33

    July 7, 2009

  • Tee-hee!

    March 19, 2008

  • You need a sneakoscope, c_b!

    March 19, 2008

  • Damn! You actually made me go and look at the copyright date, you sneak! You... you inspissated sneak!

    March 19, 2008

  • This is *so* plagiarized from J.K. Rowlings' description of potions class at Hogwarts.

    March 19, 2008

  • "In his youth he had turned to a number of allies against the intolerable boredom ... of insomnia: poppy and mandragora being the most obvious, seconded by the inspissated juice of aconite or of henbane, by datura stramonium, creeping skerit, leopard's bane."
    --P. O'Brian, The Yellow Admiral, 24

    March 19, 2008