- any of a genus (Aconitum) of poisonous plants of the buttercup family, with blue, purple, or yellow hoodlike flowers; monkshood; wolfsbane
- a rapidly acting poisonous drug usually made from the dried roots of a European monkshood (Aconitum napellus) and formerly used as a cardiac and respiratory sedativealso ac·o·ni′tum
Origin of aconiteModern Latin aconitum ; from Classical Latin ; from Classical Greek akoniton
- Any of various usually poisonous perennial herbs of the genus Aconitum in the buttercup family, having tuberous roots, palmately lobed leaves, and blue, purple, or white flowers with a large hoodlike upper sepal.
- The dried leaves and roots of some of these plants, which yield a poisonous alkaloid that was formerly used medicinally. In both senses also called monkshood, wolfsbane.
Origin of aconiteFrench aconit, from Latin aconītum, from Greek akonīton, perhaps from neuter sing. of akonītos, without dust or struggle : a-, without; see a–1 + konis, dust.