noun \ˈvī-(ə-)lət\

: a plant that has small bluish-purple or white flowers

: a bluish-purple color

Full Definition of VIOLET

a :  any of a genus (Viola of the family Violaceae, the violet family) of chiefly herbs with alternate stipulate leaves and showy flowers in spring and often cleistogamous flowers in summer; especially :  one with smaller usually solid-colored flowers as distinguished from the usually larger-flowered violas and pansies
b :  any of several plants of genera other than that of the violet — compare dogtooth violet
:  any of a group of colors of reddish-blue hue, low lightness, and medium saturation

Illustration of VIOLET

Origin of VIOLET

Middle English, from Anglo-French violete, diminutive of viole violet, from Latin viola
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with VIOLET


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of the approximately 500 species of herbaceous plants or low shrubs that make up the genus Viola, which includes the small, solid-coloured violets and the larger-flowered, often multicoloured violas and pansies. Many Viola species have two types of flowers: the showy spring flower is infertile; the less conspicuous summer flower is self-fertilizing. The best-known species of Viola have heart-shaped leaves. The popular florist's violets, consisting of several hybrids (many of them V. odorata), are usually called sweet violets. The family Violaceae, to which Viola belongs, has members worldwide; they are typically small trees and shrubs that grow as low vegetation beneath the taller trees of forests. The so-called African violet belongs to the gesneriad family. See also dogtooth violet.


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