mandrake

noun
man·​drake | \ ˈman-ˌdrāk How to pronounce mandrake (audio) \

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 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 Create mandrakes to take home and don't forget your earmuffs. Julie A. Short/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, 26 Feb. 2018 In the herbology section, there are ancient manuscripts on mandrakes, plants with roots that look humanlike. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 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.

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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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near mandrake

mandragora

mandrake

mandrel

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Cite this Entry

“Mandrake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandrake. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for mandrake

mandrake

noun
man·​drake | \ ˈman-ˌdrāk How to pronounce mandrake (audio) \

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mandrake

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