Definition of mandrake in English:

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mandrake

Pronunciation: /ˈmandreɪk/

noun

A Mediterranean plant of the nightshade family, with a forked fleshy root which supposedly resembles the human form and which was formerly used in herbal medicine and magic; it was alleged to shriek when pulled from the ground.
  • Mandragora officinarum, family Solanaceae.
Example sentences
  • This is true of many old medicinal plants like the mandrake, an herb which grows around the Mediterranean.
  • Plants, such as the mandrake, orchid, and sweet potato, have, as the history of folk medicine reveals, been credited with rejuvenating properties.
  • Last summer at The Yard, an arts colony devoted entirely to dance, he spent a month making Mandragora Vulgaris, a work based on the medieval legend of the mandrake root.

Origin

Middle English mandrag(g)e, from Middle Dutch mandrag(r)e, from medieval Latin mandragora; associated with man (because of the root) + drake in the Old English sense 'dragon'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: man|drake

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