aconite

noun

ac·​o·​nite ˈa-kə-ˌnīt How to pronounce aconite (audio)
plural aconites
1
2
: the dried poisonous tuberous root of a common monkshood (Aconitum napellus) used especially formerly for its medicinal properties (as in relieving pain)
3
: winter aconite
… they began planting one million daffodil, crocus, and aconite bulbs.Walter Karp

Examples of aconite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wildflowers, like delicate white snowdrops and brilliant yellow aconite, are beginning to flower several months early. Dharna Noor, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Feb. 2023 Winter aconite, which reach 3 to 4 inches in height, is easy to grow and will prosper in full sun or dappled shade and will form large colonies, spreading by seed. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 4 Apr. 2021 Winter aconite will perform best if the soil moisture is more consistent year-round, versus dry during the dormant season, as many other spring-flowering bulbs prefer. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 4 Apr. 2021 Snowdrops have been flowering for a week, the aconite about to burst. Heather E. Goodman, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Feb. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aconite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin aconītum, borrowed from Greek akónīton, perhaps of pre-Greek substratal origin

Note: The notion in late antiquity that the word was derived from Greek akonit́ī "without dust," hence, "without a struggle, effortless," referring to the efficacy of the poison, is fanciful.

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aconite was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near aconite

Cite this Entry

“Aconite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aconite. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

aconite

noun
ac·​o·​nite ˈak-ə-ˌnīt How to pronounce aconite (audio)
1
2
: a drug obtained from the poisonous root of the common Old World monkshood

Medical Definition

aconite

noun
ac·​o·​nite ˈak-ə-ˌnīt How to pronounce aconite (audio)
1
2
: the dried tuberous root of a monkshood (Aconitum napellus) formerly used as a cardiac and respiratory sedative
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!