[ lil-ee ]

noun,plural lil·ies.
  1. any scaly-bulbed plant of the genus Lilium, having showy, funnel-shaped or bell-shaped flowers.: Compare lily family.

  2. the flower or the bulb of such a plant.

  1. any of various related or similar plants or their flowers, as the mariposa lily or the calla lily.

  2. fleur-de-lis, especially as the symbol of France.

  3. Bowling. a split in which the five, seven, and ten pins remain standing.

  1. white as a lily: her lily hands.

  2. delicately fair: a lily maiden.

  1. pure; unsullied: the lily truth.

  2. pale; fragile; weak.

Idioms about lily

  1. gild the lily. gild1 (def. 4).

Origin of lily

before 1000; Middle English, Old English lilie<Latin līlium; compare Greek leírion

Other words from lily

  • lil·y·like, adjective

Other definitions for Lily (2 of 2)


or Lil·ly

[ lil-e ]

  1. a female given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lily in a sentence

  • "Me t'ink Massa Figgins getting lilly soft in him nut; him losing him hair turn him mad," he said to himself.

  • So says Lilly; but it is certain that if an astrologer be in earnest, he must deceive himself, if he do not deceive others.

    Witch, Warlock, and Magician | William Henry Davenport Adams
  • Lilly continued some time longer in the service of Master Gilbert Wright.

    Witch, Warlock, and Magician | William Henry Davenport Adams
  • Lilly ran in hot haste under an old ash-tree, and immediately the cannon-shot came hissing over their heads.

    Witch, Warlock, and Magician | William Henry Davenport Adams
  • The practice of astrology must have been exceedingly lucrative, for Lilly is known to have acquired a considerable fortune.

    Witch, Warlock, and Magician | William Henry Davenport Adams

British Dictionary definitions for lily


/ (ˈlɪlɪ) /

nounplural lilies
  1. any liliaceous perennial plant of the N temperate genus Lilium, such as the Turk's-cap lily and tiger lily, having scaly bulbs and showy typically pendulous flowers

  2. the bulb or flower of any of these plants

  1. any of various similar or related plants, such as the water lily, plantain lily, and day lily

Origin of lily

Old English, from Latin līlium; related to Greek leirion lily

Derived forms of lily

  • lily-like, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with lily


see gild the lily.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.