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mandrake

[man-dreyk, -drik] /ˈmæn dreɪk, -drɪk/
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
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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British Dictionary definitions for mandrakes

mandrake

/ˈmændreɪk/
noun
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
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mandrakes

mandrake

n.

narcotic plant, early 14c., mondrake, from Medieval Latin mandragora, from Latin mandragoras, from Greek mandragoras, probably from a non-Indo-European word. The word was in late Old English in its Latin form; folk etymology associated the second element with dragoun and substituted native drake in its place. The forked root is thought to resemble a human body and is said to shriek when pulled from the ground.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mandrakes in the Bible

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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