Definition of lilac in English:


Syllabification: li·lac
Pronunciation: /ˈlīˌläk, -ˌlak, -lək


  • 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
    More 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.
    More 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.


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  • Of a pale pinkish-violet color.
    More 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.


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

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a small amount; a little