deadly nightshade


Examples of deadly nightshade in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The symptoms and outcomes were consistent with poisoning with belladonna (aka deadly nightshade), the active ingredient in the teething products that was supposed to be diluted out. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 24 Aug. 2023 As far back as the 1800s, French scientists found that, after surgically attaching two rats, injecting a compound from a deadly nightshade plant into one rat could dilate the pupils of the other, the Times reports. Victoria Sayo Turner, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Aug. 2023 While that sounds innocent enough, Datura stramonium, as it is known in the scientific world, belongs to the deadly nightshade family and contains high levels of anti-cholinergic alkaloids such as scopolamine, hyoscyamine and atropine. Matt Kaplan, Discover Magazine, 20 Jan. 2015 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 That shows up in the chapter on atropine, the toxin in deadly nightshade that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and again in the chapter on strychnine, a popular rat killer that blocks the neurotransmitter glycine. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 13 Mar. 2022 In 1544, the Italian botanist and physician Pietro Mattioli was the first to formally classify the plant, likening it to a cross between mandrake and deadly nightshade—both poisonous. Francesco Lastrucci, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Feb. 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deadly nightshade was in 1578

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Cite this Entry

“Deadly nightshade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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deadly nightshade


Medical Definition

deadly nightshade


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