• synonyms


[sil-vuh n]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective, noun
  1. sylvan.
Related formssil·van·i·ty [sil-van-i-tee] /sɪlˈvæn ɪ ti/, noun


or sil·van

[sil-vuh n]
  1. of, relating to, or inhabiting the woods.
  2. consisting of or abounding in woods or trees; wooded; woody: a shady, sylvan glade.
  3. made of trees, branches, boughs, etc.
  1. a person dwelling in a woodland region.
  2. a mythical deity or spirit of the woods.

Origin of sylvan

1555–65; < Latin sylvānus, spelling variant of silvānus, equivalent to silv(a) forest + -ānus -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for silvan

Historical Examples

  • In the silence that followed these words Silvan turned to Nance.

    Through Welsh Doorways

    Jeannette Augustus Marks

  • In the light of day the silvan gods and goddesses looked specially uncomfortable, for want of a little foliage.

  • After the war was ended he went into the medical profession, entering on practice in Silvan Springs, Arkansas.

  • Silvan deities of Greek mythology, with head and body of a man and legs of a goat.

  • Within this silvan palace the most important personages present were invited to hold high festival.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

    Sir Walter Scott

British Dictionary definitions for silvan


  1. a variant spelling of sylvan



mainly poetic
  1. of, characteristic of, or consisting of woods or forests
  2. living or located in woods or forests
  3. idyllically rural or rustic
  1. an inhabitant of the woods, esp a spirit

Word Origin

C16: from Latin silvānus, from silva forest
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 silvan


see sylvan.



"of the woods," 1570s; earlier as a noun (1560s), "deity of the woods," from Middle French sylvain, from Latin silvanus "pertaining to wood or forest" (originally only in silvanae "goddesses of the woods"), from silva "wood, forest, grove," of unknown origin. Silvanus was used by the Romans as the proper name of a god of woods and fields, identified with Pan. Spelling with -y- influenced by Greek hyle "forest," from which the Latin word was supposed to derive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper