mariposa lily

[mar-uh-poh-suh, -zuh]


any lily of the genus Calochortus, of the western U.S. and Mexico, having tuliplike flowers of various colors.

Origin of mariposa lily

1880–85, Americanism; < Spanish mariposa butterfly, moth; so named because blooms were likened to butterflies
Also called mar·i·po·sa, mariposa tulip. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mariposa

Historical Examples of mariposa

  • Yes, an' got in a poker game at Mariposa, and didn't get back for four days.

    Shadows of Shasta

    Joaquin Miller

  • This is as true of the Mariposa big tree region as of the valley.

    Our Italy

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • Mariposa was the first to recover the use of her tongue and limbs.

  • Was it a possibility that Marcia, Marcia, might be the heiress of the great Mariposa estate?

    The Silver Butterfly

    Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

  • The Mariposa drew her brows together in a little puzzled frown.

    The Silver Butterfly

    Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

British Dictionary definitions for mariposa



any of several liliaceous plants of the genus Calochortus, of the southwestern US and Mexico, having brightly coloured tulip-like flowersAlso called: mariposa lily, mariposa tulip

Word Origin for mariposa

C19: from Spanish: butterfly; from the likeness of the blooms to butterflies
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