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lily

[lil-ee]
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noun, plural lil·ies.
  1. any scaly-bulbed plant of the genus Lilium, having showy, funnel-shaped or bell-shaped flowers.Compare lily family.
  2. the flower or the bulb of such a plant.
  3. any of various related or similar plants or their flowers, as the mariposa lily or the calla lily.
  4. fleur-de-lis, especially as the symbol of France.
  5. Bowling. a split in which the five, seven, and ten pins remain standing.
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adjective
  1. white as a lily: her lily hands.
  2. delicately fair: a lily maiden.
  3. pure; unsullied: the lily truth.
  4. pale; fragile; weak.
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Idioms
  1. gild the lily. gild1(def 4).
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Origin of lily

before 1000; Middle English, Old English lilie < Latin līlium; compare Greek leírion
Related formslil·y·like, adjective

Lily

or Lil·ly

[lil-e]
noun
  1. a female given name.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lily

lily

noun plural lilies
  1. any liliaceous perennial plant of the N temperate genus Lilium, such as the Turk's-cap lily and tiger lily, having scaly bulbs and showy typically pendulous flowers
  2. the bulb or flower of any of these plants
  3. any of various similar or related plants, such as the water lily, plantain lily, and day lily
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Derived Formslily-like, adjective

Word Origin

Old English, from Latin līlium; related to Greek leirion lily
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 lily

n.

Old English lilie, from Latin lilia, plural of lilium "a lily," cognate with Greek leirion, both perhaps borrowed from a corrupted pronunciation of an Egyptian word. Used in Old Testament to translate Hebrew shoshanna and in New Testament to translate Greek krinon. As an adjective, 1530s, "white, pure, lovely;" later "pale, colorless" (1580s).

Also from the Latin word are German lilie, French lis, Spanish lirio, Italian giglio. The lily of the valley translates Latin lilium convallium (Vulgate), a literal rendition of the Hebrew term in Song of Solomon ii:1. It apparently was applied to a particular plant (Convallaria majalis) first by 16c. German herbalists. Lily pad is from 1834, American English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with lily

lily

see gild the lily.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.