Rattlesnake-root definition

Any of various plants of the genus Prenanthes of the composite family, having bitter-tasting tuberous roots and clusters of white to purple usually nodding flower heads.
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Any of a number of perennial plants (genus Prenanthes) of the composite family, with small, cylindrical, drooping heads and intensely bitter roots, formerly considered a cure for snakebite.
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Any of various other plants formerly considered such a cure.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
rattlesnake-root
Plural:
rattlesnake roots

Origin of rattlesnake-root

  • From the belief that the root cured a rattlesnake's bite

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