[sahy-kluh-muh n, -men, sik-luh-]


any low-growing plant of the genus Cyclamen, belonging to the primrose family, having tuberous rootstocks and nodding white, purple, pink, or crimson flowers with reflexed petals.

Origin of cyclamen

1540–50; < New Latin, Medieval Latin < Greek kyklámīnos bulbous plant, akin to kýklos cycle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cyclamen

Historical Examples of cyclamen

  • The Cyclamen and Dodecatheon lay their ears back like a vicious horse.

    Old-Time Gardens

    Alice Morse Earle

  • Better to place these pots of cyclamen on the window-sill, Mademoiselle, if you please.

  • Then taking a cyclamen from her mother's shoulder, she rose and offered it to the Professor.

    The Patriot

    Antonio Fogazzaro

  • She carried with her a Noah's Ark, and a precious pot of cyclamen.

    The Tin Soldier

    Temple Bailey

  • After Derry had gone, Miss Emily stood looking at the cyclamen on the shelf.

    The Tin Soldier

    Temple Bailey

British Dictionary definitions for cyclamen



any Old World plant of the primulaceous genus Cyclamen, having nodding white, pink, or red flowers, with reflexed petalsSee also sowbread


of a dark reddish-purple colour

Word Origin for cyclamen

C16: from Medieval Latin, from Latin cyclamīnos, from Greek kuklaminos, probably from kuklos circle, referring to the bulb-like roots
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 cyclamen

1550s, from Medieval Latin cyclamen, from Latin cyclaminos, from Greek kyklaminos, from kyklos "circle" (see cycle (n.)). So called in reference to the bulbous shape of the root.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper