• synonyms


[mag-nohl-yuh, -noh-lee-uh]
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  1. any shrub or tree of the genus Magnolia, having large, usually fragrant flowers and an aromatic bark, much cultivated for ornament.Compare magnolia family.
  2. the blossom of any such shrub or tree, as of the evergreen magnolia tree: the state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Origin of magnolia

< New Latin (Linnaeus), after Pierre Magnol (1638–1715), French botanist; see -ia


[mag-nohl-yuh, -noh-lee-uh]
  1. a city in SW Arkansas.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for magnolia

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Past K.'s profile Sidney could see the magnolia tree shaped like a heart.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • There is also a maid, but we don't know her name, so we call her Magnolia.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Magnolia entered with Ninian's breakfast and placed it before him.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • "We'd better send for a doctor," Roger said, interrupting Magnolia.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Plans were out for the erection of flats in Magnolia Road also.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

British Dictionary definitions for magnolia


  1. any tree or shrub of the magnoliaceous genus Magnolia of Asia and North America: cultivated for their white, pink, purple, or yellow showy flowers
  2. the flower of any of these plants
  3. a very pale pinkish-white or purplish-white colour

Word Origin

C18: New Latin, named after Pierre Magnol (1638–1715), French botanist
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 magnolia


plant genus, 1748, from Magnolius, Latinized name of Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), French physician and botanist, professor of botany at Montpellier. As the name of a color, by 1931.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper