[ too-lip, tyoo- ]
/ ˈtu lɪp, ˈtyu- /


any of various plants belonging to the genus Tulipa, of the lily family, cultivated in many varieties, and having lance-shaped leaves and large, showy, usually erect, cup-shaped or bell-shaped flowers in a variety of colors.
a flower or bulb of such a plant.

Origin of tulip

1570–80; earlier tulipa < New Latin, apparently back formation from Italian tulipano (taken as adj.) < Turkish tülbent turban (from a fancied likeness); see turban
Related formstu·lip·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tulip

British Dictionary definitions for tulip


/ (ˈtjuːlɪp) /


any spring-blooming liliaceous plant of the temperate Eurasian genus Tulipa, having tapering bulbs, long broad pointed leaves, and single showy bell-shaped flowers
the flower or bulb of any of these plants
Derived Formstulip-like, adjective

Word Origin for tulip

C17: from New Latin tulipa, from Turkish tülbend turban, which the opened bloom was thought to resemble
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 tulip



1570s, via Dutch or German tulpe, French tulipe "a tulip," all ultimately from Turkish tülbent "turban," also "gauze, muslin," from Persian dulband "turban;" so called from the fancied resemblance of the flower to a turban.

Introduced from Turkey to Europe, where the earliest known instance of a tulip flowering in cultivation is 1559 in the garden of Johann Heinrich Herwart in Augsburg; popularized in Holland after 1587 by Clusius. The full form of the Turkish word is represented in Italian tulipano, Spanish tulipan, but the -an tended to drop in Germanic languages, where it was mistaken for a suffix. Tulip tree (1705), a North American magnolia, so called from its tulip-shaped flowers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper