- a bulbous plant, Hyacinthus orientalis, of the lily family, widely cultivated for its cylindrical cluster of fragrant flowers in a variety of colors.
- any of various similar or related plants, as the grape hyacinth or the water hyacinth.
- a plant fabled to have sprung from the blood of Hyacinthus and variously identified as iris, gladiolus, larkspur, etc.
- Mineralogy. a reddish-orange zircon.
- a gem of the ancients, held to be the amethyst or sapphire.
Origin of hyacinth
- a female given name.
Examples from the Web for hyacinth
He was poor and he was in love with Hyacinth; the chain of evidence was complete.
In a moment he reappeared at the door of the mill with Hyacinth under his arm.
Mr. Hyacinth Keegan, that's just gone out of court; he's your master, eh?The Macdermots of Ballycloran
One is the daughter of Hyacinth, keeper of the table furniture.
A delicate blue, ma'am; a little off the sky, and on the hyacinth.Barrington
Charles James Lever
- any liliaceous plant of the Mediterranean genus Hyacinthus, esp any cultivated variety of H. orientalis, having a thick flower stalk bearing white, blue, or pink fragrant flowers
- the flower or bulb of such a plant
- any similar or related plant, such as the grape hyacinth
- Also called: jacinth a red or reddish-brown transparent variety of the mineral zircon, used as a gemstone
- Greek myth a flower which sprang from the blood of the dead Hyacinthus
- any of the varying colours of the hyacinth flower or stone
- (as modifier)hyacinth eyes
Word Origin and History for hyacinth
1550s, "the plant hyacinth;" re-Greeked from earlier jacinth (late 14c.) "hyacinth; blue cornflower," earlier a precious stone blue (rarely red) in color (c.1200), from Old French jacinte and Medieval Latin jacintus, ultimately from Greek hyakinthos, probably ultimately from a non-Indo-European Mediterranean language. Used in ancient Greece of a blue gem, perhaps sapphire, and of a purple or deep red flower, but exactly which one is unknown (gladiolus, iris, and larkspur have been suggested). Fabled to have sprouted from the blood of Hyakinthos, youth beloved by Apollo and accidentally slain by him. The flower is said to have the letters "AI" or "AIAI" on its petals. The modern use in reference to a particular flowering plant genus is from 1570s.