any climbing shrub belonging to the genus Wisteria, of the legume family, having showy, pendent clusters of blue-violet, white, purple, or rose flowers.

Also wis·tar·i·a [wi-steer-ee-uh, -stair-] /wɪˈstɪər i ə, -ˈstɛər-/.

Origin of wisteria

< New Latin Wistaria (1818), named after Caspar Wistar (1761–1818), U.S. anatomist; see -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wisteria

Contemporary Examples of wisteria

Historical Examples of wisteria

  • He taught us not to be so ignorant as to call them lilies, just as he taught us not to say 'wisteria.'

    The Open Question

    Elizabeth Robins

  • The night bore jonquils in her hands and wore a spray of wisteria in her hair.

    The Azure Rose

    Reginald Wright Kauffman

  • Over the fronts of many of them climbed clematis and wisteria.

    Dracula's Guest

    Bram Stoker

  • These fireworks represented different scenes in the history of China, grape vines, wisteria blossoms, and many other flowers.

    Two Years in the Forbidden City

    The Princess Der Ling

  • The modern Japanese wisteria workbaskets for ladies have one or more Swastikas woven in their sides or covers.

    The Swastika

    Thomas Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for wisteria



any twining leguminous woody climbing plant of the genus Wisteria, of E Asia and North America, having blue, purple, or white flowers in large drooping clusters

Word Origin for wisteria

C19: from New Latin, named after Caspar Wistar (1761–1818), American anatomist
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 wisteria

1819, formed by Thomas Nuttall, English botanist, in recognition of American anatomist Caspar Wistar (1761-1818) of Philadelphia. The -e- apparently is a misprint.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper