Mandrake definition

măndrāk
Frequency:
The root, formerly thought to have magic powers because of its fancied resemblance to the human form.
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A poisonous plant (Mandragora officinarum) of the nightshade family, found in Mediterranean regions: it has purple or white flowers and a thick root, often forked, formerly used in medicine for its narcotic and emetic properties.
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A southern European plant (Mandragora officinarum) in the nightshade family, having greenish-yellow flowers and a branched root. This plant was once believed to have magical powers because its root resembles the human body.
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The root of this plant, which contains the poisonous alkaloid hyoscyamine.
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(mythology) A mandragora, a kind of tiny demon immune to fire.
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(botany) Any plant of the genus Mandragora, certain of which are said to have medicinal properties; the curiously shaped root of these plants has been likened to the shape of a little man, and thus, has attained some mythic significance.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
mandrake
Plural:
mandrakes

Origin of mandrake

  • Middle English alteration (influenced by drake dragon) of mandragora from Old English from Latin mandragorās from Greek

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