Share this entry

Share this page

lilac

Syllabification: li·lac
Pronunciation: /ˈlīlək
 
, ˈlīˌläk
 
/

Definition of lilac in English:

noun

1A Eurasian shrub or small tree of the olive family, that has fragrant violet, pink, or white blossoms and is widely cultivated as an ornamental.
  • Genus Syringa, family Oleaceae; several species, in particular the common lilac (S. vulgaris), with many cultivars
Example sentences
  • A very popular flowering shrub, lilacs serve many purposes in gardens.
  • It also affects trees, such as lilacs, hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and red and Scotch pines, as well as many others.
  • The sweet smell of lilies, roses, lilacs, buttercups, violets, and many other flowers Rodom could not even recognize.
1.1A pale pinkish-violet color.
Example sentences
  • His eyes were pale lilac, coloured contacts she mused, and they seemed to sparkle in the light like jewels.
  • His bungalow in London's Blackheath - home to wife Jackie and daughters Cecile and Hermione - is decorated in his favourite colour: lilac.
  • I get the feeling that yellow and lilac are your favourite colours.

adjective

Back to top  
Of a pale pinkish-violet color.
Example sentences
  • Not only that, but each June they put on a spectacular show as they burst into misty pale lilac bloom.
  • Sour Grapes was popular a few years ago but I found it to be wishy-washy with pale greyish lilac flowers.
  • He even went so far as to design colour co-ordinated lilac outfits for the servants.

Origin

early 17th century: from obsolete French, via Spanish and Arabic from Persian līlak, variant of nīlak 'bluish', from nīl 'blue'.

Definition of lilac in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing