• synonyms


[jong-kwil, jon-]
  1. a narcissus, Narcissus jonquilla, having long, narrow, rushlike leaves and fragrant, yellow or white flowers.
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Origin of jonquil

1620–30; < French jonquille < Spanish junquillo, equivalent to junc(o) rush, reed (< Latin juncus) + -illo diminutive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jonquil

Historical Examples of jonquil

  • My tame pets are a pair of jonquil canaries, Nedy and Barbra.

    Harper's Young People, June 29, 1880


  • I had not been five minutes on the Jonquil and in another two I was with Hammersley.

  • Stopford then came aboard; in the mood he was in aboard the Jonquil on the 8th,—only more so!

  • With a leaf from an old English book, A Jonquil will serve for a pen.

  • It is thus related to jonquil, which comes, through French, from Span.

British Dictionary definitions for jonquil


  1. a Eurasian amaryllidaceous plant, Narcissus jonquilla with long fragrant yellow or white short-tubed flowers
  2. any of various other small daffodil-like plants
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Word Origin for jonquil

C17: from French jonquille, from Spanish junquillo, diminutive of junco reed; see junco
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 jonquil


1660s, species of narcissus, from French jonquille (17c.), from Spanish junquillo, diminutive of junco "rush, reed," from Latin iuncus "rush;" so called in reference to its leaves. The type of canary bird (1865) is so called for its pale yellow color, which is like that of the flower.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper