Definition of squill in English:

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Pronunciation: /skwil/


1 (also sea squill) A coastal Mediterranean plant of the lily family, with broad leaves, white flowers, and a very large bulb.
  • Drimia (or Urginea) maritima, family Liliaceae.
Example sentences
  • Large bulbs such as tulips and daffodils should be placed four to six inches apart while smaller bulbs such as crocus, snowdrops, and squill, should be placed one to two inches apart.
  • ‘If one of us had a cough, Mam would send me to the chemist for a ‘shilling mix’ (bring your own bottle), which consisted of three-penny-worth each of glycerine, syrup of squills, liquorice, and ipecac wine.
  • Meanwhile, the island nation exported to America items such as olive oil, lemons, sulphur, ivory, salt, rags, goat skins, stoneware, soap, squills, sponges, and donkeys of the largest and most valuable race in the Mediterranean.
1.1 (also squills) An extract of the bulb of the squill, which is poisonous and has medicinal and other uses.
Example sentences
  • Expectorants for example guaiphenesin, ammonium chloride, squill, sodium citrate and ipecacuanha may help chesty coughs.
  • Some drug materials, e.g. garlic and squill, are extremely hygroscopic and in the presence of water tend to fuse into lumps which make them unsuitable for the percolation process.
  • Vinegar flavoured with squill (also known as ‘sea onion’, Urginea maritima) was a favourite condiment.
2 [usually with modifier] A small plant of the lily family that resembles a hyacinth and has slender straplike leaves and small clusters of violet-blue or blue-striped flowers.
  • Several species in the family Liliaceae, including the spring squill (Scilla verna), and the striped squill (Puschkinia scilloides).
Example sentences
  • Blue harebells and spring squill grew along the cliff path.
  • Along with the various scillas, consideration must be given to the striped squills or Puschkinias.
  • Blue is taken up by the spring squills, with their small, clear flowers surrounded by agitated leaves.


Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek skilla.

Words that rhyme with squill

bill, Brazil, brill, Camille, chill, cookchill, dill, distil (US distill), downhill, drill, Edgehill, Estoril, fill, freewill, frill, fulfil (US fulfill), Gill, goodwill, grill, grille, hill, ill, instil, kill, krill, mil, mill, nil, Phil, pill, quadrille, quill, rill, Seville, shill, shrill, sill, skill, spadille, spill, still, stock-still, swill, thill, thrill, till, trill, twill, until, uphill, will

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: squill

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