[koh-lee-uh s]

noun, plural co·le·us·es.

any of several tropical Asian or African plants belonging to the genus Coleus, of the mint family, certain species of which are cultivated for their showy, colored foliage and blue flowers.

Origin of coleus

1865–70; < New Latin < Greek koleós, variant of koleón sheath, scabbard; akin to conceal, hull1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coleus

Historical Examples of coleus

  • Give the Coleus about six inches of lee-way, also the Centaurea.

    Amateur Gardencraft

    Eben E. Rexford

  • Among foliage plants such things as coleus, dusty miller, begonia, and some geraniums are adaptable.

  • The coleus, as a window plant, affords fine color effects, but the plant is too tender to be agreeable for house-culture.

    A Garden with House Attached

    Sarah Warner Brooks

  • Coleus and bouvardias are among the plants upon which mealy bugs are most often found.

  • We do not know who is the author of this very interesting autobiography of an old and popular Coleus.

    Talks about Flowers.

    M. D. Wellcome

British Dictionary definitions for coleus


noun plural -uses

any plant of the Old World genus Coleus: cultivated for their variegated leaves, typically marked with red, yellow, or white: family Lamiaceae (labiates)

Word Origin for coleus

C19: from New Latin, from Greek koleos, variant of koleon sheath; from the way in which the stamens are joined
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