Definition of senna in US English:



  • 1The cassia tree.

    • ‘Even we do not use irrigation and fumigation to our field used for growing senna.’
    • ‘Senna grows in most tropical regions of the world.’
    1. 1.1 A laxative prepared from the dried pods of the cassia tree.
      • ‘The non-osmotic laxatives, phenolphthalein and senna, partly act by stimulating secretory mechanisms in the intestine.’
      • ‘Not only does she use an enema a couple of times a week, but she also drinks laxative tea containing senna all the time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Magnesium hydroxide is less likely to irritate the digestive tract than a stimulant laxative such as 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.’


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