• synonyms


or sil·van

[sil-vuh n]
See more synonyms for sylvan on Thesaurus.com
  1. of, relating to, or inhabiting the woods.
  2. consisting of or abounding in woods or trees; wooded; woody: a shady, sylvan glade.
  3. made of trees, branches, boughs, etc.
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  1. a person dwelling in a woodland region.
  2. a mythical deity or spirit of the woods.
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Origin of sylvan

1555–65; < Latin sylvānus, spelling variant of silvānus, equivalent to silv(a) forest + -ānus -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sylvan

rustic, shady, wooded, woody

Examples from the Web for sylvan

Historical Examples of sylvan

  • But now the scene is changed: Peace crowns the sylvan shade.

    The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone

    John Filson

  • Yet without this self-knowledge there may be a sylvan strength and integrity in that which he is.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Dearer than all these to me,” he says about our other valleys, “is sylvan Tweed.

    Angling Sketches

    Andrew Lang

  • The palms surpass in number and variety all their sylvan brethren.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • At least not new and not unaccustomed, but new and unaccustomed there, in this sylvan retreat.

British Dictionary definitions for sylvan



mainly poetic
  1. of, characteristic of, or consisting of woods or forests
  2. living or located in woods or forests
  3. idyllically rural or rustic
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  1. an inhabitant of the woods, esp a spirit
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Word Origin for sylvan

C16: from Latin silvānus, from silva forest
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 sylvan


"of the woods," 1570s; earlier as a noun (1560s), "deity of the woods," from Middle French sylvain, from Latin silvanus "pertaining to wood or forest" (originally only in silvanae "goddesses of the woods"), from silva "wood, forest, grove," of unknown origin. Silvanus was used by the Romans as the proper name of a god of woods and fields, identified with Pan. Spelling with -y- influenced by Greek hyle "forest," from which the Latin word was supposed to derive.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper