mandrake

noun
man·drake | \ˈman-ˌdrāk \

Definition of mandrake 

1a : a Mediterranean herb (Mandragora officinarum) of the nightshade family with large ovate leaves, greenish-yellow or purple flowers, and a large usually forked root resembling a human in form and formerly credited with magical properties

b : the root of a mandrake formerly used especially to promote conception, as a cathartic, or as a narcotic and soporific

2 : mayapple

Illustration of mandrake

Illustration of mandrake

mandrake 1

Examples of mandrake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Create mandrakes to take home and don't forget your earmuffs. Julie A. Short/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Egg hunts, breakfasts highlight Easter events: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 26 Feb. 2018 In the herbology section, there are ancient manuscripts on mandrakes, plants with roots that look humanlike. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "London is going all butterbeer over 20th anniversary of Harry Potter," 29 Oct. 2017

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

First Known Use of mandrake

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for mandrake

Middle English, probably alteration of mandragora

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mandrake

Statistics for mandrake

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mandrake

The first known use of mandrake was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mandrake

mandrake

noun
man·drake | \ˈman-ˌdrāk \

Medical Definition of mandrake 

1a : a Mediterranean solanaceous herb of the genus Mandragora (M. officinarum) that has greenish yellow or purple flowers, globose yellow fruits formerly supposed to have aphrodisiac properties, and a large usually forked root resembling a human in form and formerly credited with magical properties

b(1) : the root of this plant that contains hyoscyamine and was formerly used especially to promote conception, as a cathartic, or as a narcotic and soporific

(2) : a solution of mandrake root (as in wine) formerly used as a narcotic

More from Merriam-Webster on mandrake

See words that rhyme with mandrake

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mandrake

Comments on mandrake

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

WORD OF THE DAY

lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
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!