- 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.
Origin of dahlia
Examples from the Web for dahlia
Extreme Makeover Dahlia Lithwick, The New Yorker The story behind Lawrence v. Texas.The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for March 10, 2012
March 10, 2012
My-Boot's nose was in full bloom, a regular purple Burgundy dahlia.L'Assommoir
The girl was a little, tender black and white thing, looking like a dahlia.The Christian
The dahlia, we are told, first came from the valley of Mexico.Aztec Land
Maturin M. Ballou
The dahlia dons its gay cockade, Its flaming cap the marigold.Enamels and Cameos and other Poems
Of course, without them, he could not have it any more than a dahlia, or a tulip.
- 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 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).