- 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 (V. album) and the (V. viride) were formerly used as cathartics, etc.
Origin: altered (after Gr) from Middle English ellebore from Old French from Classical Latin helleborus from Glassical Greek helleboros, origin, originally probably “plant eaten by fawns” from hellos, variant, variety of ellos, fawn from base of elaphos, deer plush bora, food (of beasts): for Indo-European base see elk and amp; voracious
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- Any of various plants of the genus Helleborus, 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 a toxic alkaloid used medicinally.
Origin: Middle English ellebre, from Old French, from Latin elleborus, from Greek helleboros : perhaps hellos, fawn + -boros, eaten (from bibrōskein, to eat).