belladonna

[bel-uh-don-uh]
noun
1.
Also called deadly nightshade. a poisonous plant, Atropa belladonna, of the nightshade family, having purplish-red flowers and black berries.
2.
Pharmacology. a drug from the leaves and root of this plant, containing atropine and related alkaloids: used in medicine to check secretions and spasms, to relieve pain or dizziness, and as a cardiac and respiratory stimulant.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Italian bella donna literally, fair lady (so called because it is said to have been used by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes and to create an artificial pallor). See belle, donna

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World English Dictionary
belladonna (ˌbɛləˈdɒnə)
 
n
1.  either of two alkaloid drugs, atropine or hyoscyamine, obtained from the leaves and roots of the deadly nightshade
2.  another name for deadly nightshade
 
[C16: from Italian, literally: beautiful lady; supposed to refer to its use by women as a cosmetic]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

belladonna
1590s, "deadly nightshade" (Atropa belladonna), from It., lit. "fair lady," supposedly because women made cosmetic eye-drops from its juice (it has a well-known property of dilating the pupils) or because it was used to poison beautiful women.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

belladonna bel·la·don·na (běl'ə-dŏn'ə)
n.

  1. A poisonous Eurasian perennial herb having usually solitary, purplish-brown, bell-shaped flowers and glossy black berries. Also called deadly nightshade.

  2. An alkaloidal extract or tincture derived from this plant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
belladonna   (běl'ə-dŏn'ə)  Pronunciation Key 
A preparation of the dried leaves or roots of deadly nightshade or related plants in the genus Belladonna, once used as a medicine. Belladonna contains several alkaloids that affect the nervous system by blocking the effects of acetylcholine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
As far as belladonna goes, non-homeopathic belladonna has been a medical treatment for thousands of years.
Health officials suspect that the tea became contaminated with leaves from a tree that contained poisonous belladonna alkaloids.
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