- any of various shrubs belonging to the genus Syringa, of the olive family, as S. vulgaris, having large clusters of fragrant purple or white flowers: the state flower of New Hampshire.
- pale reddish purple.
- having the color lilac.
Origin of lilac
Examples from the Web for lilac
Sky and soft sunlight tint the snow blue, pink, lilac, peach.Visiting the Arctic Circle…Before It’s Irreversibly Changed
Terry Greene Sterling
April 1, 2014
Trim trousers in nubby shades of lilac were paired with jackets in iridescent hues of melon.Paris Fall 2012 Fashion Week: Haider Ackermann, Lanvin, and Comme des Garçons
March 4, 2012
One of these collaborations includes a lilac hourglass-shaped Tadashi gown in which Spencer collected her very first Golden Globe.Octavia Spencer: Nominated for ‘The Help’ and Star of the Red Carpet
February 23, 2012
He'd broken the stick out of a lilac hedge a block from their house.Danger Stalks Lucas Davenport
Daily Beast Promotions
May 11, 2009
"There is a whole other side to this island from the lilac fudge and the horses," she said.The Boys on the Bus
November 3, 2008
Katy had been cook in the Strong family ever since they had moved to Lilac Valley.
Linda entered the street car for her daily ride to Lilac Valley.
Something had happened in Lilac Valley that had changed his perspective.
Aunt Rosine had put a spray of lilac in her bonnet, "to enliven her mourning," as she said.My Double Life
It was doubtless the face of Marie, examining the buds on her lilac bushes.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- Also called: syringa any of various Eurasian oleaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Syringa, esp S. vulgaris (common lilac) which has large sprays of purple or white fragrant flowers
- French lilac another name for goat's-rue (def. 1)
- a light or moderate purple colour, sometimes with a bluish or reddish tinge
- (as adjective)a lilac carpet
Word Origin and History for lilac
1620s, from French lilac "shrub of genus Syringa with mauve flowers," from Spanish lilac, from Arabic lilak, from Persian lilak, variant of nilak "bluish," from nil "indigo" (cf. Sanskrit nilah "dark blue"), of uncertain origin. As a color name, attested from 1791; as a scent, from 1895. As an adjective, "pale pinkish-purple," from 1801. Related: Lilaceous.