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lilac

[ lahy-luh k, -lahk, -lak ]
/ ˈlaɪ lək, -lɑk, -læk /
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noun

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.

adjective

having the color lilac.

RELATED WORDS

color, mauve, plum, lavender, periwinkle, violet, heliotrope, pomegranate, mulberry, amethyst, magenta, wine, orchid, violaceous, amaranthine, perse

Nearby words

liking, likker, likud, likuta, lila, lilac, lilaceous, lilangeni, lilburn, lilburne, lili

Origin of lilac

1615–25; < Spanish < Arabic līlak < Persian, assimilated variant of nīlak bluish, equivalent to nīl blue, indigo (< Sanskrit nīla) + -ak suffix of appurtenance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lilac

British Dictionary definitions for lilac

lilac

/ (ˈlaɪlək) /

noun

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)
  1. a light or moderate purple colour, sometimes with a bluish or reddish tinge
  2. (as adjective)a lilac carpet

Word Origin for lilac

C17: via French from Spanish, from Arabic līlak, changed from Persian nīlak bluish, from nīl blue
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 lilac

lilac


n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper