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

  • n. Any of several plants of the genus Solanum, such as the bittersweet nightshade, most of which have a poisonous juice.
  • n. Any of various similar or related plants, such as belladonna.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the poisonous plants belonging to the genus Solanum, especially black nightshade or woody nightshade.
  • n. Any plant of the wider Solanaceae family, including the nightshades as well as tomato, potato, eggplant, and deadly nightshade.
  • n. Belladonna or deadly nightshade, Atropa belladonna.
  • n. Any of several plants likened to nightshade, usually because of similar dark-colored berries.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A common name of many species of the genus Solanum, given esp. to the Solanum nigrum, or black nightshade, a low, branching weed with small white flowers and black berries reputed to be poisonous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the genus Solanum, or of the Solanace├Ž or nightshade family.
  • n. The name of a few plants of other orders, as below.
  • n. The darkness of the night.
  • n. A prostitute.
  • n. Solanum aculeatisdmum, a shrubby and prickly species with yellow berries found from North Carolina to Florida and west to Texas.

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

  • n. any of numerous shrubs or herbs or vines of the genus Solanum; most are poisonous though many bear edible fruit


Middle English, from Old English nihtscada : niht, night; see night + sceadu, shade.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English nihtscada, apparently corresponding to night + shade. (Wiktionary)



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