Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a sleeping-potion, especially one made from belladonna
  • n. belladonna itself, deadly nightshade; or some other soporific plant
  • n. error, delusion
  • n. a sable or black color.
  • v. To mutter deliriously

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The deadly nightshade (Atropa Belladonna), having stupefying qualities.
  • n. The tincture sable or black when blazoned according to the fantastic system in which plants are substituted for the tinctures.
  • n. A sleeping potion; an opiate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To mutter deliriously.
  • n. Error; delusion
  • n. A sleeping-potion; a soporific.
  • n. The deadly nightshade, Atropa Belladonna, which possesses stupefying or poisonous properties.
  • n. In heraldry, a sable or black color.

Etymologies

From Middle English dwale ("dazed, stupor; deception, trickery; delusion; error, wrong-doing, evil"), from Old English dwala, dwola ("error, heresy; doubt; madman, deceiver, heretic") and possibly of Scandinavian origin, compare Danish dvale ‘sleep, stupor’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As an example of the mixture of real and fake, dwale is based on a real plant, deadly nightshade, but I took liberties with its effects.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Sarah Micklem, Part Two

  • Also called dwale - deriving this common name from the French word for sorrow, deuil, or the Scandinavian word, dool, for sleep or delay - deadly nightshade is a very effective poison.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • There are various recipes for dwale from the Middle Ages, and I think they generally feature hemlock, henbane, opium and various other ingredients.

    Early medieval surgical knowledge

  • I took it off and found it was made of dwale, like the wreaths the adepts had worn for the rites.

    Wildfire

  • The adepts wore white wrappers and wreaths of dwale, which in Lambanein meant secrecy.

    Wildfire

  • Two of the most beautiful of these are the white convolvulus, San Graal of the hedges, and the dwale – that lurid amphora where the death's-head moth, with its weird form and wings of enchanted purples, drinks under the white light of the moon and, if it is touched, cries out like a witch in a weak, strident voice.

    The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing

  • The distant woods grow auburn as the leaf-buds swell, and in their folds the shadows are like dwale.

    The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing

  • For instance, he gives to the deadly nightshade the name, which now only lingers in a corner of Devonshire, the "dwale."

    Gossip in a Library

  • Here and there the forest monarchs had fallen from old age, and where they had left a vacancy hazel stubs flourished, springing up gaily, and revelling on the rotten wood and dead leaves which covered the ground, and among which grew patches of nuts and briar, with the dark dewberry and swarthy dwale.

    Crown and Sceptre A West Country Story

  • I used dwale because I loved the sound of it — it was the name used in Chaucer’s day.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Sarah Micklem, Part Two

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