[ dal-yuh, dahl- or, esp. British, deyl- ]
/ ˈdæl yə, ˈdɑl- or, esp. British, ˈdeɪl- /


any composite plant of the genus Dahlia, native to Mexico and Central America and widely cultivated for its showy, variously colored flower heads.
the flower or tuberous root of a dahlia.
a pale violet or amethyst color.


of the color dahlia.

Nearby words

  1. dagö,
  2. dah,
  3. dahabeah,
  4. dahl,
  5. dahlgren,
  6. dahna,
  7. dahomey,
  8. dahoon,
  9. daibutsu,
  10. daiker

Origin of dahlia

1791; < New Latin, named after Anders Dahl (died 1789), Swedish botanist; see -ia

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dahlia

British Dictionary definitions for dahlia


/ (ˈdeɪljə) /


any herbaceous perennial plant of the Mexican genus Dahlia, having showy flowers and tuberous roots, esp any horticultural variety derived from D. pinnata : family Asteraceae (composites)
the flower or root of any of these plants

Word Origin for dahlia

C19: named after Anders Dahl, 18th-century Swedish botanist; see -ia

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 dahlia



1804, named 1791 by Spanish botanist Antonio José Cavanilles for Anders Dahl (1751-1789), Swedish botanist and pupil of Linnaeus, who discovered it in Mexico in 1788. No blue variety had ever been cultivated, hence blue dahlia, figurative expression for "something impossible or unattainable" (1880).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper