• synonyms


  1. any of various southern European plants of the genera Asphodelus and Asphodeline, of the lily family, having white, pink, or yellow flowers in elongated clusters.
  2. any of various other plants, as the daffodil.
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Origin of asphodel

1590–1600; < Latin asphodelus < Greek asphódelos the asphodel. See daffodil
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for asphodel

Historical Examples

  • His favourite plants were the vine, ivy, laurel, and asphodel.

    Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome

    E.M. Berens

  • Name an anagram of Anthericum, from , supposed to have been the Asphodel.

  • "That pinkish flower over there must be asphodel," said Uncle Jim.

    Irma in Italy

    Helen Leah Reed

  • At his elbow is a great un-English, unwintry nosegay of asphodel and iris.


    Rhoda Broughton

  • Crown us with asphodel flowers, that are wet with the dews of nepenthe.

British Dictionary definitions for asphodel


  1. any of various S European liliaceous plants of the genera Asphodelus and Asphodeline, having clusters of white or yellow flowersCompare bog asphodel
  2. any of various other plants, such as the daffodil
  3. an unidentified flower of Greek legend, probably a narcissus, said to cover the Elysian fields
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos, of obscure origin
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 asphodel


late 14c., from Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos "asphodel, king's spear," of unknown origin (see daffodil). Taken in poetic use for a mythical deathless flower that overspreads the Elysian meadows.

To embathe In nectared lavers strewed with asphodel. [Milton, "Comus," 1634]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper