- any plant belonging to the genus Smilax, of the lily family, growing in tropical and temperate zones, consisting mostly of vines having woody stems.
- a delicate, twining plant, Asparagus asparagoides, of the lily family, having glossy, bright-green, egg-shaped leaves, cultivated by florists.
Origin of smilax
1595–1605; < Latin smīlax bindweed < Greek smîlax bindweed, yew
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for smilax
Smilax, as now used by florists, is but a very recent affair.
The strawberry is no more a plagiarist than the smilax, nor the grape than the nettle.The Foot-path Way
He showed her a cupboard against the wall, half hidden by a canopy of smilax.Regiment of Women
Smilax: caule inermi angulato, foliis cordato-ovatis acutis septemnerviis, pedunculo communi umbellæ (♂) petiolum subæquante.
Smilax had opened our duffle and hung out several things to air.Wings of the Wind
- any typically climbing shrub of the smilacaceous genus Smilax, of warm and tropical regions, having slightly lobed leaves, small greenish or yellow flowers, and berry-like fruits: includes the sarsaparilla plant and greenbrier
- a fragile, much branched liliaceous vine, Asparagus asparagoides, of southern Africa: cultivated by florists for its glossy bright green foliage
C17: via Latin from Greek: bindweed
Word Origin and History for smilax
type of lilaceous plant, c.1600, from Latin, from Greek smilax "blindweed," also used of the yew and a kind of evergreen oak.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper