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[too-lip, tyoo-] /ˈtu lɪp, ˈtyu-/
any of various plants belonging to the genus Tulipa, of the lily family, cultivated in many varieties, and having lance-shaped leaves and large, showy, usually erect, cup-shaped or bell-shaped flowers in a variety of colors.
a flower or bulb of such a plant.
Origin of tulip
1570-80; earlier tulipa < New Latin, apparently back formation from Italian tulipano (taken as adj.) < Turkish tülbent turban (from a fancied likeness); see turban
Related forms
tuliplike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for tulip


any spring-blooming liliaceous plant of the temperate Eurasian genus Tulipa, having tapering bulbs, long broad pointed leaves, and single showy bell-shaped flowers
the flower or bulb of any of these plants
Derived Forms
tulip-like, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin tulipa, from Turkish tülbend turban, which the opened bloom was thought to resemble
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for tulip

1570s, via Dutch or German tulpe, French tulipe "a tulip," all ultimately from Turkish tülbent "turban," also "gauze, muslin," from Persian dulband "turban;" so called from the fancied resemblance of the flower to a turban.

Introduced from Turkey to Europe, where the earliest known instance of a tulip flowering in cultivation is 1559 in the garden of Johann Heinrich Herwart in Augsburg; popularized in Holland after 1587 by Clusius. The full form of the Turkish word is represented in Italian tulipano, Spanish tulipan, but the -an tended to drop in Germanic languages, where it was mistaken for a suffix. Tulip tree (1705), a North American magnolia, so called from its tulip-shaped flowers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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