bel·​la·​don·​na | \ ˌbe-lə-ˈdä-nə How to pronounce belladonna (audio) \

Definition of belladonna

1 : an Old World poisonous plant (Atropa belladonna) of the nightshade family having purple or green bell-shaped flowers, glossy black berries, and root and leaves that yield atropine

called also deadly nightshade

2 : a medicinal extract (such as atropine) from the belladonna plant

Examples of belladonna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Set out bulbs like Amaryllis belladonna, nerine, pineapple lily (Eucomis) canna, and calla. Sunset Magazine, "45 Things to Do in Your Garden Right Now," 3 Aug. 2020 Many of the products were said to contain toxic substances, including belladonna, mercurius solubilis (mercury), and plumbum aceticum (lead). Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Homeopaths sell injections containing strychnine, lead, mercury. Seriously," 16 June 2020 Stay away from teething tablets that contain the plant poison belladonna and gels with benzocaine. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "When Do Babies Start Teething? The Facts Every Parent Should Know," 9 Aug. 2019 In the most high-profile case, homeopathic teething products were found to contain toxic belladonna, aka deadly nightshade. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Massive recall of homeopathic kids’ products spotlights dubious health claims," 24 Aug. 2018 Know your ash from alder, your atropa belladonna from solanum nigrum?, "Can you pass this forest ranger exam from 1925?," 16 Jan. 2018 In that case, FDA investigators confirmed that the products contained variable and sometimes high levels of toxic belladonna, aka deadly nightshade, which can have harmful and unpredictable effects in infants. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "FDA plans crackdown on dangerous homeopathy; homeopaths say: bring it," 19 Dec. 2017 Some of those products were found to contain harmful ingredients, such as belladonna, which can be toxic. Andrea Park, SELF, "Serena Williams Asks Instagram and Twitter for Help in Dealing With Alexis Olympia's Teething," 18 Dec. 2017 That was after the FDA found varying amounts of belladonna in the products. Ars Technica, SELF, "FDA Slams More Homeopathic Companies for Playing Fast and Loose With Toxic Chemicals," 22 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belladonna.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of belladonna

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for belladonna

Italian, literally, beautiful lady

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The first known use of belladonna was in 1597

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Cite this Entry

“Belladonna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce belladonna (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of belladonna

: a poisonous plant that has reddish bell-shaped flowers
: a drug made from the belladonna plant


bel·​la·​don·​na | \ ˌbel-ə-ˈdän-ə How to pronounce belladonna (audio) \

Medical Definition of belladonna

1 : an Old World poisonous plant of the genus Atropa (A. belladonna) having purple or green flowers, glossy black berries, and a root and leaves that yield atropine

called also deadly nightshade

2 : a medicinal preparation (as atropine) extracted from the belladonna plant and containing anticholinergic alkaloids

More from Merriam-Webster on belladonna

Nglish: Translation of belladonna for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about belladonna

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