Definition of heliotrope in English:


Syllabification: he·li·o·trope
Pronunciation: /ˈhēlēəˌtrōp


1A plant of the borage family, cultivated for its fragrant purple or blue flowers, which are used in perfume.
  • Genus Heliotropium, family Boraginaceae
More example sentences
  • She inhaled the scents of dust, orange oil, and the perfume the heliotropes sent throughout the room.
  • The lush, fragrant flowers of the heliotrope range from dark violet to white in color.
  • A member of the borage family, common heliotrope is one of about 250 Heliotropium species, but it is the only one widely grown in gardens.
1.1A light purple color, similar to that typical of heliotrope flowers.
More example sentences
  • Only then did they turn to color, using purples like heliotrope and verbena to complement the flax, and soft apricots for gentle contrast.
  • To the right, a shoal of rocks whose faceted surfaces are painted pink, heliotrope and gray resembles a hand-rendered version of a computer-generated landscape.


Old English eliotropus (originally applied to various plants whose flowers turn toward the sun), via Latin from Greek hēliotropion 'plant turning its flowers to the sun', from hēlios 'sun' + trepein 'to turn'. The spelling was influenced by French héliotrope.

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