jimson weed

[jim-suh n]


a coarse, rank-smelling weed, Datura stramonium, of the nightshade family, having oaklike, poisonous leaves and tubular white or lavender flowers.

Also jimpson weed [jimp-suh n] /ˈdʒɪmp sən/, Jimson weed.

Origin of jimson weed

1805–15, Americanism; variant of Jamestown weed, after Jamestown, Virginia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for jimson weed

jimson weed


US and Canadian a poisonous solanaceous plant, Datura stramonium, of the N hemisphere, having white funnel-shaped flowers and spiny capsule fruitsAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): thorn apple

Word Origin for jimson weed

C17: from earlier Jamestown weed, from Jamestown, Virginia
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 jimson weed

also jimsonweed, 1812, American English, shortening of Jamestown-weed (1680s), from Jamestown, Virginia colony, where it was discovered by Europeans (1676), when British soldiers mistook it for an edible plant and subsequently hallucinated for 11 days.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper