Definitions

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

  • n. A poisonous Eurasian perennial herb (Atropa belladonna) having usually solitary, nodding, purplish-brown, bell-shaped flowers and glossy black berries. Also called deadly nightshade.
  • n. An alkaloidal extract or tincture derived from this plant and used in medicine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a plant, Atropa belladonna, having purple bell-shaped flowers and poisonous black glossy berries; deadly nightshade
  • n. an alkaloid extracted from this plant, sometimes used medicinally, containing atropine

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An herbaceous European plant (Atropa belladonna) with reddish bell-shaped flowers and shining black berries. The whole plant and its fruit are very poisonous, and the root and leaves are used as powerful medicinal agents. Its properties are largely due to the alkaloid atropine which it contains. Called also deadly nightshade.
  • n. A species of Amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna); the belladonna lily.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant, Atropa Belladonna, or deadly nightshade, natural order Solanace├Ž, a native of central and southern Europe.

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

  • n. an alkaloidal extract or tincture of the poisonous belladonna plant that is used medicinally
  • n. perennial Eurasian herb with reddish bell-shaped flowers and shining black berries; extensively grown in United States; roots and leaves yield atropine

Etymologies

Italian : bella, feminine of bello, beautiful (from Latin bellus; see deu-2 in Indo-European roots) + donna, lady; see Donna.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian bella donna, literally 'beautiful lady', altered by folk etymology from Medieval Latin bladona 'nightshade', from Gaulish. The folk etymology was motivated by the cosmetic use of nightshade for dilating the eyes. (Wiktionary)

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