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[wi-steer-ee-uh] /wɪˈstɪər i ə/
any climbing shrub belonging to the genus Wisteria, of the legume family, having showy, pendent clusters of blue-violet, white, purple, or rose flowers.
Also, wistaria
[wi-steer-ee-uh, -stair-] /wɪˈstɪər i ə, -ˈstɛər-/ (Show IPA)
Origin of wisteria
< New Latin Wistaria (1818), named after Caspar Wistar (1761-1818), U.S. anatomist; see -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wisteria
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He taught us not to be so ignorant as to call them lilies, just as he taught us not to say 'wisteria.'

    The Open Question Elizabeth Robins
  • The night bore jonquils in her hands and wore a spray of wisteria in her hair.

    The Azure Rose Reginald Wright Kauffman
  • Over the fronts of many of them climbed clematis and wisteria.

    Dracula's Guest

    Bram Stoker
  • These fireworks represented different scenes in the history of China, grape vines, wisteria blossoms, and many other flowers.

    Two Years in the Forbidden City The Princess Der Ling
  • The modern Japanese wisteria workbaskets for ladies have one or more Swastikas woven in their sides or covers.

    The Swastika

    Thomas Wilson
  • It had a wide bertha, cuffs and over panels of wisteria panne velvet.

  • wisteria is planted for the trellis over the terrace on the west side of the house to shield it from the afternoon sun.

    Green Spring Farm Ross Netherton
  • He turned his head painfully, and now saw that his windows were surrounded by mauve fronds of wisteria.

    Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories Henry Seton Merriman
British Dictionary definitions for wisteria


any twining leguminous woody climbing plant of the genus Wisteria, of E Asia and North America, having blue, purple, or white flowers in large drooping clusters
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, named after Caspar Wistar (1761–1818), American anatomist
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
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Word Origin and History for wisteria

1819, formed by Thomas Nuttall, English botanist, in recognition of American anatomist Caspar Wistar (1761-1818) of Philadelphia. The -e- apparently is a misprint.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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