- 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 acon&imacron;tum, from Greek akon&imacron;ton, perhaps from neuter sing. of akon&imacron;tos, without dust or struggle : a-, without; see a–1 + konis, dust.