- any plant belonging to the genus Digitalis, of the figwort family, especially the common foxglove, D. purpurea.
- the dried leaves of the foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, used in medicine as a heart stimulant.
Origin of digitalis
1655–65; < New Latin digitālis, a name apparently suggested by the German name for the foxglove, Fingerhut literally, thimble; see digital
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Examples from the Web for digitalis
He was directed to take the decoction of Digitalis night and morning.
The Digitalis, in pills, never occasioned the least sickness.
He bled me, ordered me to keep my bed, and to continue the digitalis.My Ten Years' Imprisonment
This difficulty of breathing is cured or relieved by the exhibition of digitalis.
Is it ever cured by making the patient sick by tincture of digitalis?
- any Eurasian scrophulariaceous plant of the genus Digitalis, such as the foxglove, having bell-shaped flowers and a basal rosette of leaves
- a drug prepared from the dried leaves or seeds of the foxglove: a mixture of glycosides used medicinally to treat heart failure and some abnormal heart rhythms
- any cardiac glycoside, whatever its origin
C17: from New Latin, from Latin: relating to a finger (referring to the corollas of the flower); based on German Fingerhut foxglove, literally: finger-hat or thimble
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
Word Origin and History for digitalis
1660s, Modern Latin translation of German fingerhut, the German name of "foxglove," literally "thimble." Named by Fuchs (1542), and so called for its shape. The medicine (originally extracted from the plant) is so called from 1799.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A plant of the genus Digitalis, which includes the foxgloves, several species of which are a source of cardioactive steroid glycosides used in the treatment of certain heart diseases.
- A pharmaceutical prepared from the seeds and dried leaves of the purple foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, and prescribed as a cardiac stimulant in the treatment of congestive heart failure and other disorders of the heart.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A drug prepared from the seeds and dried leaves of the purple foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, and prescribed as a cardiac stimulant in the treatment of congestive heart failure and other disorders of the heart.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.