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  1. a Mexican plant, Schoenocaulon officinale, of the lily family, having long, grasslike leaves and bitter seeds.
  2. the seeds of this plant, formerly used medicinally and as a source of veratrine and veratridine.

Origin of sabadilla

1805–15; < Spanish cebadilla Indian caustic barley, diminutive of cebada barley (feminine) ≪ Latin cibātus (masculine) fodder, nutriment, equivalent to cibā(re) to feed + -tus suffix of v. action
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British Dictionary definitions for sabadilla


  1. a tropical American liliaceous plant, Schoenocaulon officinale
  2. the bitter brown seeds of this plant, which contain the alkaloids veratrine and veratridine and are used in insecticides

Word Origin

C19: from Spanish cebadilla, diminutive of cebada barley, from Latin cibāre to feed, from cibus food
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