- a poisonous European plant (Atropa belladonna) of the nightshade family, with purplish or reddish bell-shaped flowers and shiny black berries; deadly nightshade: it is a source of atropine
Origin of belladonnaModern Latin ; from Italian bella donna, literally , beautiful lady: a folk etymology (infl. by cosmetic use for dilating the eye) for Medieval Latin bladona, nightshade, probably ; from Gaulish
- A poisonous perennial herb (Atropa belladonna) native to Eurasia and northern Africa and naturalized in parts of North America, having nodding, purplish-brown, bell-shaped flowers and glossy black berries. Also called deadly nightshade.
- An alkaloidal extract or tincture derived from this plant and used in medicine.
Origin of belladonnaItalian : bella, feminine of bello, beautiful (from Latin bellus; see deu-2 in Indo-European roots) + donna, lady; see donna (the plant perhaps being so called because women of Italian courts during the Renaissance are said to have used the juice of belladonna berries to make their eyes more attractive by dilating their pupils) .
fruit and flower of the belladonna plant