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[hahy-bis-kuh s, hi-] /haɪˈbɪs kəs, hɪ-/
noun, plural hibiscuses.
Also called China rose. a woody plant, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, of the mallow family, having large, showy flowers: the state flower of Hawaii.
any of numerous other plants, shrubs, or trees of the genus Hibiscus, characterized by lobate or dentate leaves and usually profusely blooming flowers.
Origin of hibiscus
1700-10; < New Latin, Latin < Greek hibískos mallow Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hibiscus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In China women dye their eyebrows with an extract of the petals of hibiscus Rosa-sinensis.

    The Romance of Plant Life G. F. Scott Elliot
  • The sides and the roof were then covered with the hibiscus from the grove.

    Work and Win Oliver Optic
  • A glory of buginvilla overflows trellis and bower in splendid war with the hibiscus hedges and the dropping yellow fruit.

    Minstrel Weather Marian Storm
  • Some azaleas are doing well, verbenas, hibiscus of all kinds.

    Life of John Coleridge Patteson Charlotte M. Yonge
  • hibiscus is very easy to raise, and should be planted among and along the edge of shrubbery.

    A Woman's Hardy Garden Helena Rutherfurd Ely
  • Nets, set and hand, are also made with twine from the fig or hibiscus.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • Jocelyn was looking at him between the hibiscus flowers decorating the table.

    With Edged Tools Henry Seton Merriman
  • The elm lends something to the hibiscus—the hibiscus to the elm.

British Dictionary definitions for hibiscus


noun (pl) -cuses
any plant of the chiefly tropical and subtropical malvaceous genus Hibiscus, esp H. rosa-sinensis, cultivated for its large brightly coloured flowers
Word Origin
C18: from Latin, from Greek hibiskos marsh mallow
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 hibiscus

1706, from Latin hibiscum, later hibiscus, "marshmallow plant," of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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