[hahy-bis-kuh s, hi-]

noun, plural hi·bis·cus·es.

Also called China rose. a woody plant, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, of the mallow family, having large, showy flowers: the state flower of Hawaii.
any of numerous other plants, shrubs, or trees of the genus Hibiscus, characterized by lobate or dentate leaves and usually profusely blooming flowers.

Origin of hibiscus

1700–10; < New Latin, Latin < Greek hibískos mallow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hibiscus

Contemporary Examples of hibiscus

Historical Examples of hibiscus

  • She had the passionate grace of the hibiscus and the rich colour.

    The Trembling of a Leaf

    William Somerset Maugham

  • The sides and the roof were then covered with the hibiscus from the grove.

    Work and Win

    Oliver Optic

  • We next had to get out some thirty rafters of hibiscus to support the roof.

    The Island Home

    Richard Archer

  • Some azaleas are doing well, verbenas, hibiscus of all kinds.

  • Hibiscus, pink, white; four to five feet; August and September.

    A Woman's Hardy Garden

    Helena Rutherfurd Ely

British Dictionary definitions for hibiscus


noun plural -cuses

any plant of the chiefly tropical and subtropical malvaceous genus Hibiscus, esp H. rosa-sinensis, cultivated for its large brightly coloured flowers

Word Origin for hibiscus

C18: from Latin, from Greek hibiskos marsh mallow
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 hibiscus

1706, from Latin hibiscum, later hibiscus, "marshmallow plant," of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper