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[eyd-l-vahys, -wahys] /ˈeɪd lˌvaɪs, -ˌwaɪs/
a small composite plant, Leontopodium alpinum, having white woolly leaves and flowers, growing in the high altitudes of the Alps.
a liqueur made in Italy, flavored with the extracts of alpine flowers.
Origin of edelweiss
1860-65; < German, equivalent to edel noble + weiss white Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for edelweiss
Historical Examples
  • "See, we are above the rest of you; we are the edelweiss," said these flowers.

  • Everybody in the Alps wears a sprig of edelweiss in his hat.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Subsequently he enclosed a bloom of edelweiss culled on the heights, as he said, in my honour.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • Hunting for it is like hunting for the edelweiss in Switzerland.

  • They are also often clothed all over in cottonwool, such as the edelweiss.

    The Romance of Plant Life G. F. Scott Elliot
  • The young men at Pontresina called her ‘The edelweiss’ because she was so inaccessible.

    The Silent Barrier Louis Tracy
  • But he did see him going into Balak as he left for edelweiss that morning.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • All this happened before I knew that Peter was living in edelweiss.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • In either case, edelweiss was not what he had come to believe it would be.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • Tall young Americans were quite common in edelweiss in these days.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
British Dictionary definitions for edelweiss


a small alpine flowering plant, Leontopodium alpinum, having white woolly oblong leaves and a tuft of attractive floral leaves surrounding the flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)
Word Origin
C19: German, literally: noble white
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
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Word Origin and History for edelweiss

1862, from German Edelweiß, literally "noble white," from Old High German edili "noble" (see atheling) + German weiss "white" (see white).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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