or sil·van

[ sil-vuh n ]
/ ˈsɪl vən /


of, relating to, or inhabiting the woods.
consisting of or abounding in woods or trees; wooded; woody: a shady, sylvan glade.
made of trees, branches, boughs, etc.


a person dwelling in a woodland region.
a mythical deity or spirit of the woods.


Origin of sylvan

1555–65; < Latin sylvānus, spelling variant of silvānus, equivalent to silv(a) forest + -ānus -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sylvan

British Dictionary definitions for sylvan



mainly poetic


of, characteristic of, or consisting of woods or forests
living or located in woods or forests
idyllically rural or rustic


an inhabitant of the woods, esp a spirit

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper