hellebore

play
noun hel·le·bore \ˈhe-lə-ˌbȯr\

Definition of hellebore

  1. 1 :  any of a genus (Helleborus) of poisonous Eurasian herbs of the buttercup family having showy flowers with petaloid sepals; also :  the dried rhizome of a hellebore (such as H. niger) formerly used in medicine

  2. 2 :  a poisonous herb (genus Veratrum) of the lily family; also :  the dried rhizome of a hellebore (V. album or V. viride) that is used as an insecticide and contains toxic alkaloids that are cardiac and respiratory depressants

Origin and Etymology of hellebore

Middle English elebre, from Anglo-French, from Latin elleborus, helleborus, from Greek helleboros


First Known Use: 15th century


Medical Dictionary

hellebore

play
noun hel·le·bore \ˈhel-ə-ˌbō(ə)r, -ˌbȯ(ə)r\

Medical Definition of hellebore

  1. 1a:  any herb of the genus Helleborusb:  the dried roots and rhizome of any medicinal herb of the genus Helleborus (as black hellebore H. niger or green hellebore H. viridis) or a powder or extract of this used by the ancient Greeks and Romans in treating mental and other disorders

  2. 2a:  any of several poisonous herbs of the genus Veratrumb:  the dried rhizome and roots of either of two hellebores of the genus Veratrum (the false hellebore V. viride of America and V. album of Europe) or a powder or extract of this containing alkaloids (as protoveratrine) used as a cardiac and respiratory depressant and also as an insecticide—called also veratrum, white hellebore


Learn More about hellebore


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up hellebore? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to glide in or as if in an airplane

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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