Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various usually poisonous perennial herbs of the genus Aconitum in the buttercup family, having tuberous roots, palmately lobed leaves, and blue, purple, or white flowers with a large hoodlike upper sepal.
  • noun The dried leaves and roots of some of these plants, which yield a poisonous alkaloid that was formerly used medicinally.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[French aconit, from Latin aconītum, from Greek akonīton, perhaps from neuter sing. of akonītos, without dust or struggle : a-, without; see a– + konis, dust.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French aconit, from Latin aconitum, from Ancient Greek ἀκόνιτον (akoniton).

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

  • 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

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

    Betrayed

  • 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

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

    Betrayed

Comments

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  • "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

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

    March 19, 2008

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

    March 19, 2008

  • You need a sneakoscope, c_b!

    March 19, 2008

  • Tee-hee!

    March 19, 2008

  • "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

  • 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

  • Aconite leaves only one post-mortem sign: asphyxia, as it causes arrhythmic heart function which leads to suffocation. Poisoning can occur even after touching the leaves of the plant without wearing gloves as it is very rapidly and easily absorbed. It's virtually untraceable. The emperor Claudius is said to have been poisoned by his wife, Agrippina, using aconite in a plate of mushrooms.

    February 27, 2015