[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.

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

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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

Word Origin for rhododendron

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-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper