any of various plants of the genus Solanum, especially the black nightshade or the bittersweet.
any of various other related plants, as the deadly nightshade.

Origin of nightshade

before 1000; Middle English; Old English nihtscada. See night, shade Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nightshade

Historical Examples of nightshade

British Dictionary definitions for nightshade



any of various solanaceous plants, such as deadly nightshade, woody nightshade, and black nightshade

Word Origin for nightshade

Old English nihtscada, apparently night + shade, referring to the poisonous or soporific qualities of these plants
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 nightshade

Old English nihtscada, literally "shade of night," perhaps in allusion to the poisonous berries. A common Germanic compound, cf. Dutch nachtschade, German Nachtschatten.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper