hel·​le·​bore | \ ˈhe-lə-ˌbȯr How to pronounce hellebore (audio) \

Definition of hellebore

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 : 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

Examples of hellebore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dark tulips, nasturtiums, chocolate lace, and hellebore will all go straight to your emo goth’s heart. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 12 Feb. 2020 The common name hellebore refers to several species of plants in the Helleborus genus. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 10 Apr. 2021 White flies have infested my garden especially in hellebore and western sword fern beds. oregonlive, 26 Dec. 2020 Make sure to think about color early in the season, with early-blooming species like hellebore and trillium. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 June 2020 Where the ground is mushy and damp, look for frilly bundles of false hellebore that sprout head-high flower stalks in summertime and the delicate blooms of marsh marigolds, aquatic buttercups, prairie smoke and berry-laden shrubs. Mare Czinar, azcentral, 11 June 2020 Their voluptuous arrangements balance pillowy blooms like oversized white anemones with smaller, denser varieties such as fuzzy yellow forsythias and cuplike hellebores. Zio Baritaux, New York Times, 2 May 2020 Roses, hellebores and thistle are massed on her dining table and sideboard in delicate purple, navy and cream. Jura Koncius, chicagotribune.com, 31 Oct. 2019 At Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, two such plants — witchhazels and hellebores — are blooming, Cappiello said. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, 10 Jan. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of hellebore

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hellebore

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

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The first known use of hellebore was in the 15th century

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hell driving


hellebore green

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Cite this Entry

“Hellebore.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hellebore. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hellebore


hel·​le·​bore | \ ˈhel-ə-ˌbō(ə)r, -ˌbȯ(ə)r How to pronounce hellebore (audio) \

Medical Definition of hellebore

1a : any herb of the genus Helleborus
b : 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
2a : any of several poisonous herbs of the genus Veratrum
b : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on hellebore

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hellebore


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