Definition of senna in English:



  • 1The cassia tree.

    • ‘Senna grows in most tropical regions of the world.’
    • ‘Even we do not use irrigation and fumigation to our field used for growing senna.’
    1. 1.1mass noun A laxative prepared from the dried pods of the cassia tree.
      • ‘Not only does she use an enema a couple of times a week, but she also drinks laxative tea containing senna all the time.’
      • ‘The non-osmotic laxatives, phenolphthalein and senna, partly act by stimulating secretory mechanisms in the intestine.’
      • ‘A 40-year-old woman with Rett syndrome presented to her general practitioner with a long-standing history of abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and constipation requiring laxatives including senna.’
      • ‘Do not use strong laxatives, such as the stimulant laxative senna, on a routine basis unless on the advice of doctor, because long term use of such laxatives can be harmful.’
      • ‘Magnesium hydroxide is less likely to irritate the digestive tract than a stimulant laxative such as senna.’
    2. 1.2 Used in names of plants of the pea family that are similar to senna, e.g. bladder senna.
      • ‘Originally, Alexandrian senna was obtained principally from Sudan, but it is now cultivated in both Egypt and Sudan.’
      • ‘The Department of Environment and Conservation has identified 7 priority actions to help recover the Bladder Senna in New South Wales.’


Mid 16th century: from medieval Latin sena, from Arabic sanā.