belladonna

noun

bel·​la·​don·​na ˌbe-lə-ˈdä-nə How to pronounce belladonna (audio)
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 Nightshades include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, belladonna, petunias and tobacco, a few of which are commonly used as plant models in scientific research, and several of which probably landed on your dinner plate recently (though hopefully not the poisonous belladonna). Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 6 Jan. 2017 And a passionate kiss has the same effect as belladonna in making our pupils dilate. Sheril Kirshenbaum, Discover Magazine, 19 Mar. 2011 One of the most toxic plants in the world, the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) is filled with tropane alkaloids, which can kill an adult in large enough doses. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 Hospital Melbourne, the syndrome can be triggered through the accidental ingestion of anticholinergic agents, including deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), jimson weed, Mandrake root, lupin beans and angel’s trumpet. Leo Sands, Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2022 In 2017, the FDA confirmed elevated levels of the toxic substance belladonna (deadly nightshade) in homeopathic teething products intended for infants. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 3 Oct. 2022 One of the doctors called in to consult thought poisoning seemed likely, perhaps by opium or belladonna. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 Jan. 2022 Even so, they were still regarded with skepticism and fear because botanists recognized them as relatives of the poisonous nightshade, belladonna. Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2021 Concentrated Medicinal Fluid Extracts contained belladonna, arsenic and mercury. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'belladonna.' 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

Italian, literally, beautiful lady

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of belladonna was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near belladonna

Cite this Entry

“Belladonna.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belladonna. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

belladonna

noun
bel·​la·​don·​na ˌbel-ə-ˈdän-ə How to pronounce belladonna (audio)
1
: a European poisonous herb of the nightshade family with purple or green bell-shaped flowers, glossy black berries, and a root and leaves that are a source of atropine

called also deadly nightshade

2
: a drug or extract from the belladonna
Etymology

from Italian bella donna, literally, "beautiful lady"; so called because the extract was formerly used in cosmetics

Medical Definition

belladonna

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

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