[hol-ee-hok, -hawk]
  1. any of several plants belonging to the genus Alcea (or Althaea), of the mallow family, native to Eurasia, especially A. rosea, a tall plant having a long cluster of showy, variously colored flowers.

Origin of hollyhock

1225–75; Middle English holihoc, equivalent to holi holy + hoc mallow, Old English hocc
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for hollyhock


  1. a tall widely cultivated malvaceous plant, Althaea rosea, with stout hairy stems and spikes of white, yellow, red, or purple flowersAlso called (US): rose mallow

Word Origin for hollyhock

C16: from holy + hock, from Old English hoc 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 hollyhock

mid-13c., holihoc, from holi "holy" (see holy) + hokke "mallow," from Old English hocc, of unknown origin. Another early name for the plant was caulis Sancti Cuthberti "St. Cuthbert's cole."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper