water lily



any of various aquatic plants of the genus Nymphaea, species of which have large, disklike, floating leaves and showy flowers, especially N. odorata, of America, or N. alba, of Europe.Compare water lily family.
any related plant of the genus Nuphar.
a plant of the water lily family.
the flower of any such plant.

Origin of water lily

First recorded in 1540–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for water lily

Historical Examples of water lily

  • "I shall be contented on the waters of the pond," said the water-lily.

    The Book of Nature Myths

    Florence Holbrook

  • I have read somewhere that it delights in eating the nymphœa, or water-lily.

  • You do look white,—white, delicate, and sweet as a water-lily.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • What in the name of all that's holy has he got to do with water-lily leaves?


    George A. Birmingham

  • Her face was held down and showed no more color than a water-lily.

    The Thing from the Lake

    Eleanor M. Ingram

British Dictionary definitions for water lily

water lily


any of various aquatic plants of the genus Nymphaea and related genera, of temperate and tropical regions, having large leaves and showy flowers that float on the surface of the water: family Nymphaeaceae
any of various similar and related plants, such as the yellow water lily
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