Belladonna Definition

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.
Webster's New World
Webster's New World
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.
American Heritage Medicine
An alkaloidal extract or tincture derived from this plant and used in medicine.
American Heritage Medicine

A plant, Atropa belladonna, having purple bell-shaped flowers and poisonous black glossy berries; deadly nightshade.


Other Word Forms of Belladonna



Origin of Belladonna

  • Italian bella feminine of bello beautiful (from Latin bellus deu-2 in Indo-European roots) donna lady 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)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Italian bella donna, literally 'beautiful lady', altered by folk etymology from Medieval Latin bladona 'nightshade', from Gaulish. The folk etymology was motivated by the cosmetic use of nightshade for dilating the eyes.

    From Wiktionary

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