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  1. holm oak.

Origin of ilex1

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin


  1. any tree or shrub of the genus Ilex.
  2. a holly.

Origin of ilex2

1555–65; < New Latin, Latin īlex ilex1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ilex

Historical Examples

  • Outside, in the ilex wood, birds were calling to one another.

    Olive in Italy

    Moray Dalton

  • The holm oak, ilex, is so called from its holly-like leaves.

  • Ilex is the classical name of the evergreen oak in southern Europe.

  • The most common plants that it contains are included in the genera Ilex and Prinos.

  • But it was as if he had made the attempt upon the trunk of the Ilex itself.

British Dictionary definitions for ilex


  1. any of various trees or shrubs of the widely distributed genus Ilex, such as the holly and inkberry: family Aquifoliaceae
  2. another name for the holm oak

Word Origin

C16: from Latin
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 ilex


late 14c., from Latin ilex "holm-oak," perhaps from an extinct non-Indo-European language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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