[ sneyk-root, -root ]

  1. any of various plants whose roots have been regarded as a remedy for snakebites, as the herb Aristolochia serpentaria(Virginia snakeroot ), having a medicinal rhizome and rootlets, and the white-flowered Polygala senega(Seneca snakeroot ), having a medicinal root.

  2. the root or rhizome of such a plant.

  1. the North American bugbane.

  2. a white eupatorium, Eupatorium rugosum.

  3. a plant, Rauwolfia serpentina (or Rauvolfia serpentina), whose roots are the source of reserpine and other drugs.

Origin of snakeroot

First recorded in 1625–35; snake + root1

Words Nearby snakeroot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use snakeroot in a sentence

  • He said he was called snakeroot Sam, because he rooted so hard for rattlesnakes.

    The Campers Out | Edward S. Ellis
  • snakeroot Sam is a mighty clever feller, and he says he will help us all he can.

    The Campers Out | Edward S. Ellis
  • "snakeroot and cinnamon," chimed in Rachel, looking up from her sewing with a very innocent face.

    Little Grandmother | Sophie May
  • Good-day, sonnies, said snakeroot Sam, doffing his dilapidated hat with mock courtesy.

    The Campers Out | Edward S. Ellis
  • Dixon also reported that the natives have a keen sense of smell, which they quicken by the use of snakeroot.

    Alaska | Ella Higginson

British Dictionary definitions for snakeroot


/ (ˈsneɪkˌruːt) /

  1. any of various North American plants, such as Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia snakeroot) and Eupatorium urticaefolium (white snakeroot), the roots or rhizomes of which have been used as a remedy for snakebite

  2. the rhizome or root of any such plant

  • Also called: snakeweed

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