any of numerous shrubs belonging to a particular group (Azalea) of the genus Rhododendron, of the heath family, comprising species with handsome flower clusters of various colors, some of which are familiar in cultivation: the group was formerly the botanical genus Azalea but is now a horticultural classification.

Origin of azalea

1750–60; < New Latin < Greek azaléa, noun use of feminine of azaléos dry; so named because it grows in dry soil Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for azalea

Contemporary Examples of azalea

Historical Examples of azalea

  • And then she left the azalea, and perched on the flat arm of his chair.

  • Azalea Adair and I had conversation, a little of which will be repeated to you.

  • Azalea Adair rose without surprise or emotion and disappeared.

  • I looked in my memorandum book for the address of Azalea Adair.

  • Azalea Adair breathed a soft apology and went to investigate the sound.

British Dictionary definitions for azalea



any ericaceous plant of the group Azalea, formerly a separate genus but now included in the genus Rhododendron: cultivated for their showy pink or purple flowers

Word Origin for azalea

C18: via New Latin from Greek, from azaleos dry; from its supposed preference for a dry situation
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 azalea

1753, coined by Linnaeus from the fem. of Greek azaleos "dry," related to azein "to dry up" (see ash (n.1)). The plant thrives in sandy soil.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper