night·​shade | \ ˈnīt-ˌshād How to pronounce nightshade (audio) \

Definition of nightshade

1 : any of a genus (Solanum of the family Solanaceae, the nightshade family) of herbs, shrubs, and trees having alternate leaves, cymose flowers, and fruits that are berries and including some poisonous weeds, various ornamentals, and important crop plants (such as the potato and eggplant)

Examples of nightshade in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Plants in the nightshade family — tomato, pepper, eggplant, tomatillo — are all susceptible to the same suite of soil pathogens. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "In April, home gardeners, native plants are putting on a show," 3 Apr. 2021 During one July jaunt to Gowanus in Brooklyn, Mr. Brown noted purple sprouts of sticky nightshade, a plant native to South America. New York Times, "Wildflowers of New York City," 20 Mar. 2021 In 2014, Bock’s team used this method to create a new species in the nightshade family with a combination of nuclear and organelle genomes that could not have arisen from hybridization. Quanta Magazine, "Plant Cells of Different Species Can Swap Organelles," 20 Jan. 2021 Garlic, not fire, ruled the nightshade in the generous bowl eggplant in garlic sauce, the healthy bowl of which retained loads of heat — the temperature kind — in its formidable slices. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Numb’s the word at Taste of Chengdu’s new Baldwin Park outpost," 12 Nov. 2020 At home, keep eggplants on the counter rather than in the refrigerator; these members of the nightshade family do not tolerate cold and moisture that damages their delicate flavor and expedites rot. Beth Dooley, Star Tribune, "Turn to eggplant for this Greek dip," 29 July 2020 Sow warm-weather plants like nightshades and cucurbits indoors for transplanting in May. Transplant aster, viola, zinnia, marigold, and delphinium from cold frames to beds. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "Your Ultimate Spring Gardening To-Do List for March and April," 16 Mar. 2020 Could nightshades be making a comeback in Tom Brady’s diet? Julie Mazziotta,, "Tom Brady Will Eat Pizza and Bacon If He Wants It: ‘We’re Humans, Here for One Life’," 6 Aug. 2019 But there is no solid research to show that nightshades cause inflammatory conditions to develop. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "The Health Benefits of Eggplants," 8 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nightshade.' 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 nightshade

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of nightshade was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nightshade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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night·​shade | \ ˈnīt-ˌshād How to pronounce nightshade (audio) \

Medical Definition of nightshade

1 : any plant of the genus Solanum (family Solanaceae, the nightshade family) which includes some poisonous weeds, various ornamental garden plants, and important crop plants (as the potato and eggplant)

More from Merriam-Webster on nightshade

Nglish: Translation of nightshade for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about nightshade

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