- any of a genus (Helleborus) of poisonous, winter-blooming plants of the buttercup family, with buttercuplike flowers of various colors: the rhizomes of a black European species (H. niger) were formerly used as a heart stimulant and cathartic
- any of a genus (Veratrum) of poisonous plants of the lily family: the white hellebore (V. album) and the false hellebore (V. viride) were formerly used as cathartics, etc.
Origin of helleborealtered (after Gr) from Middle English ellebore from Old French from Classical Latin helleborus from Classical Greek helleboros, origin, originally probably “plant eaten by fawns” from hellos, variant, variety of ellos, fawn from base of elaphos, deer + bora, food (of beasts): for Indo-European bases see elk and voracious
- Any of various plants of the genus Helleborus of the buttercup family, native to Eurasia, most species of which are poisonous.
- Any of various plants of the genus Veratrum, especially V. viride of North America, having large leaves and greenish flowers and yielding toxic alkaloids used medicinally. Also called false hellebore . Also called veratrum .
Origin of helleboreMiddle English ellebre from Old French from Latin elleborus from Greek helleboros perhaps hellos fawn -boros eaten ( from bibrōskein to eat )
California false hellebore