• synonyms


[fawr-sith-ee-uh, -sahy-thee-uh, fer-]
  1. a shrub belonging to the genus Forsythia, of the olive family, native to China and southeastern Europe, species of which are cultivated for their showy yellow flowers, which blossom on the bare branches in early spring.
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Origin of forsythia

< New Latin, after William Forsyth (1737–1804), English horticulturist; see -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for forsythia

Historical Examples

  • Here and there a yellow clump of forsythia is like a spot of sunshine.

    The Conquest of Fear

    Basil King

  • You have to make little splints for them out of Forsythia twigs.

    Fairy Prince and Other Stories

    Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

  • Forsythia and Laburnum, or Golden Chain, both have yellow blossoms.

    A Woman's Hardy Garden

    Helena Rutherfurd Ely

  • It's closed away from the lawn by a mixed hedge of forsythia and lilac.

  • The irises made a drive and the forsythia sent up its barrage.

    The Cup of Fury

    Rupert Hughes

British Dictionary definitions for forsythia


  1. any oleaceous shrub of the genus Forsythia, native to China, Japan, and SE Europe but widely cultivated for its showy yellow bell-shaped flowers, which appear in spring before the foliage
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Word Origin

C19: New Latin, named after William Forsyth (1737–1804), English botanist
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 forsythia


1814, coined 1805 in Modern Latin as a genus name in honor of William Forsyth (1737-1804), Scottish horticulturalist who brought the shrub from China. The family name is from Gaelic Fearsithe "man of peace."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper