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

  • noun A plant of the nightshade family, especially a poisonous one of the genus Solanum or Atropa, such as bittersweet nightshade or belladonna.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

  • noun (Bot.) 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.
  • noun Same as Belladonna (a).
  • noun See under Enchanter.
  • noun See Henbane.
  • noun See Trillium.

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

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

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

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


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

[Middle English, from Old English nihtscada : niht, night; see night + sceadu, shade.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English nihtscada, apparently corresponding to night + shade.


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  • A strain of medicinal marijuana.

    January 15, 2010

  • A Solanaceae Family Reunion

    The family still tries to keep touch:

    While Spuds don't socialize much

    The Peppers will gab

    At any confab.

    (Tomatoes will weep and then clutch.)

    The happy throng fills the bright glades,

    But Aubergine quails as light fades.

    A shadow fell upon her

    Of deadly Belladonna,

    The lunatic aunt of Nightshades.

    The laughter dies down if she stays

    But rises again when she strays

    From nervous relief!

    Their season's so brief

    They'll not be denied salad days.

    March 4, 2017