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[hel-uh-bawr, -bohr] /ˈhɛl əˌbɔr, -ˌboʊr/

any of several plants of the genus Helleborus, of the buttercup family, having basal leaves and clusters of flowers, especially H. niger, the Christmas rose.
any of various plants of the genus Veratrum.
Compare .
any of several poisonous or medicinal substances obtained from these plants.
any plant of the Eurasian ranunculaceous genus Helleborus, esp H. niger (black hellebore), typically having showy flowers and poisonous parts See also Christmas rose
any of various liliaceous plants of the N temperate genus Veratrum, esp V. album, that have greenish flowers and yield alkaloids used in the treatment of heart disease

late 14c., from Old French ellebore, from Latin elleborus, from Greek helleboros, perhaps meaning “plant eaten by fawns,” from Greek ellos/hellos “fawn” + bora “food of beasts,” from bibroskein “to eat,” from PIE root *gwere- “to swallow.” Among the ancients, the name given to various plants of both poisonous and medicinal qualities, reputed to cure madness.


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  • Helleborin

    [he-leb-uh-rin, hel-uh-bawr-in, -bohr-] /hɛˈlɛb ə rɪn, ˈhɛl əˌbɔr ɪn, -ˌboʊr-/ noun 1. a colorless, crystalline, water-insoluble, poisonous solid, C 28 H 36 O 6 , obtained from the rhizome and root of certain , and used in medicine chiefly as a purgative.

  • Helleborine

    /ˌhɛlɪˈbɔːriːn/ noun 1. any of various N temperate orchids of the genera Cephalanthera and Epipactis

  • Hellen

    /ˈhɛlɪn/ noun 1. (in Greek legend) a Thessalian king and eponymous ancestor of the Hellenes

  • Hellene

    [hel-een] /ˈhɛl in/ noun 1. a Greek. /ˈhɛliːn/ noun 1. another name for a Greek

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