Definitions

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

  • noun A bitter poisonous alkaloid, C45H73NO15, found in potatoes and other plants of the nightshade family. It has narcotic properties and was formerly used to treat epilepsy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A complex body, either itself an alkaloid or containing an alkaloid, the active principle of bittersweet, Solanum Dulcamara. It is a narcotic poison.

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

  • noun (Chem.) A poisonous alkaloid glucoside extracted from the berries of common nightshade (Solanum nigrum), and of bittersweet, and from potato sprouts, as a white crystalline substance having an acrid, burning taste; -- called also solonia, and solanina.

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

  • noun organic chemistry A poisonous glycoalkaloid found in many species of the nightshade family.

Etymologies

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

[French, from Latin sōlānum, nightshade, from sōl, sun; see sāwel- in Indo-European roots.]

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