• synonyms


[roh-duh-den-druh n]
  1. any evergreen or deciduous shrub or tree belonging to the genus Rhododendron, of the heath family, having rounded clusters of showy, pink, purple, or white flowers and oval or oblong leaves.
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Origin of rhododendron

1595–1605; < Latin < Greek rhodódendron (rhódo- rhodo- + déndron tree)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rhododendron

Historical Examples

  • Rhododendron maximum, L. (mountain laurel of North America).

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 497, July 11, 1885


  • In the morning, a covering of snow weighed on the rhododendron bushes.

    The Rainbow

    D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

  • Great Laurel (Rhododendron maximum) is also in the heath family.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

  • Here, as well as above, were laurel and rhododendron in profusion.

  • The Otagos were withdrawn to the Rhododendron for reorganization.

British Dictionary definitions for rhododendron


  1. any ericaceous shrub of the genus Rhododendron, native to S Asia but widely cultivated in N temperate regions. They are mostly evergreen and have clusters of showy red, purple, pink, or white flowersAlso called (US): rosebay See also azalea
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin: oleander, from Greek, from rhodon rose + dendron tree
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 rhododendron


c.1600, from French rhododendron and directly from Latin rhododendron, from Greek rhododendron, literally "rose-tree," from rhodon "rose" (see rose (n.1)) + dendron "tree" (see dendro-).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper