mandrakes

mandrake

[man-dreyk, -drik]
noun
1.
a narcotic, short-stemmed European plant, Mandragora officinarum, of the nightshade family, having a fleshy, often forked root somewhat resembling a human form.
2.
the May apple.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English, variant of mandrage (short for mandragora), taken by folk etymology as man1 + drake2

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
mandrake or mandragora (ˈmændreɪk, mænˈdræɡərə)
 
n
1.  a Eurasian solanaceous plant, Mandragora officinarum, with purplish flowers and a forked root. It was formerly thought to have magic powers and a narcotic was prepared from its root
2.  another name for the May apple
 
[C14: probably via Middle Dutch from Latin mandragoras (whence Old English mandragora), from Greek. The form mandrake was probably adopted through folk etymology, because of the allegedly human appearance of the root and because drake (dragon) suggested magical powers]
 
mandragora or mandragora
 
n
 
[C14: probably via Middle Dutch from Latin mandragoras (whence Old English mandragora), from Greek. The form mandrake was probably adopted through folk etymology, because of the allegedly human appearance of the root and because drake (dragon) suggested magical powers]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mandrake
c.1150, from M.L. mandragora, from L. mandragoras, from Gk. mandragoras, probably from a non-I.E. word. Folk etymology associated the second element with dragoun and substituted native drake in its place. The forked root is thought to resemble a human form and is said to shriek when pulled from the ground.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Mandrakes definition


Hebrew dudaim; i.e., "love-plants", occurs only in Gen. 30:14-16 and Cant. 7:13. Many interpretations have been given of this word _dudaim_. It has been rendered "violets," "Lilies," "jasmines," "truffles or mushrooms," "flowers," the "citron," etc. The weight of authority is in favour of its being regarded as the Mandragora officinalis of botanists, "a near relative of the night-shades, the 'apple of Sodom' and the potato plant." It possesses stimulating and narcotic properties (Gen. 30:14-16). The fruit of this plant resembles the potato-apple in size, and is of a pale orange colour. It has been called the "love-apple." The Arabs call it "Satan's apple." It still grows near Jerusalem, and in other parts of Palestine.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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