Definition of belladonna in English:



  • 1Deadly nightshade.

    • ‘This species also includes tobacco, poisonous belladonna, and the toxic plants herbane, mandrake, and jimson weeds.’
    • ‘Flying ointment made from mugwort in a carrier oil may be safer, but it is not just as good as one made from hemlock, belladonna, and other baneful herbs carefully mixed and applied.’
    • ‘Derivatives of plant leaves, flowers, stems, berries, fruits and roots account for about half of those available including some of the better known - arnica and belladonna.’
    • ‘You don't have much of your hour left to find some belladonna.’
    • ‘Two of the most popular and better known are arnica and belladonna.’
    • ‘I have no idea what the effects of these poisonous plants would be if ingested, although I seem to recall that belladonna has hallucinogenic properties.’
    • ‘A discussion of botanicals such as chaparral, lobelia, wormwood, belladonna, and kava is provided from the point of view of experienced clinicians.’
    1. 1.1mass noun A drug prepared from the leaves and root of deadly nightshade, containing atropine.
      • ‘Although a small benefit has been found from the combination of belladonna and phenobarbital, concern over adverse effects and possible addiction problems has limited its use.’
      • ‘Medicines like silver nitrate, belladonna, chalk powder and peppermint water were used extensively.’
      • ‘You may not be able to take belladonna, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.’
      • ‘It deserves notice that he experimented with the most boasted substances - cinchona, aconite, mercury, bryonia, belladonna.’
      • ‘By the late eighteenth century William Heberden was recommending cold baths and blisters ‘applied to the loins' and belladonna was later used as a cure.’
      • ‘The most common ingredients prescribed were iodides, organic nitrites, stramonium, belladonna, atropine, hyoscyamus, tobacco smoke, and menthol.’
      • ‘Some women used belladonna to pale their complexions to a ghostly pallor but Antonia's mother had forbidden this, fearing her daughter's health.’
      • ‘And belladonna in higher doses is poisonous, and was employed by poisoners over the centuries.’
      • ‘Take belladonna exactly as directed by your doctor’
      • ‘And the sweet-shop that had been a pharmacy, so that jars of humbugs stood next to jars of belladonna.’
      • ‘Some members of this family are historically notorious such as belladonna, now used for treating asthma, and the nightshades.’
      • ‘Homeopathic remedies which can help include allium for streaming eyes and a raw nose, belladonna for a cold which comes with a high temperature and a great thirst, and pulsatilla if you're bothered by thick yellow mucus.’


Mid 18th century: from modern Latin, from Italian bella donna ‘fair lady’, perhaps from the use of its juice to add brilliance to the eyes by dilating the pupils.