am·​a·​ryl·​lis ˌa-mə-ˈri-ləs How to pronounce amaryllis (audio)
: an autumn-flowering South African bulbous herb (Amaryllis belladonna of the family Amaryllidaceae, the amaryllis family) that is grown in gardens for its clusters of large, fragrant, usually white or pink flowers which resemble lilies and are borne on long, solid, leafless stems : belladonna lily
: any of various usually spring-flowering cultivars of a closely related chiefly South American bulbous herb (genus Hippeastrum) that are widely grown indoors in wintertime for their clusters of large, typically red, pink, salmon, or white, trumpet-shaped flowers which resemble lilies and are borne on long, hollow, leafless stems

Examples of amaryllis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cyclamen, poinsettias, Christmas cactus, paperwhites and amaryllis are all good choices. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Dec. 2022 Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, and amaryllis are popular holiday plants that can be fatal to cats and dogs if ingested. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 7 Dec. 2022 White dove ornaments combine with amaryllis, carnations, and orchids on a Tannenbaum that's sprayed white. Anna Logan, Country Living, 3 Dec. 2022 African iris, Asiatic lilies, amaryllis, blood lilies, bulbine, crinum, daylilies, Louisiana iris, society garlic, spider lilies, rain lilies, refrigerated Dutch iris, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths for forcing. Tom MacCubbin,, 1 Jan. 2022 Begin forcing amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus for indoor displays. Tom MacCubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 1 Oct. 2022 This showy amaryllis will bring elegance to any decor. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Aug. 2022 The exception is amaryllis, which will bloom from a bulb in a matter of months. Jada Jackson, House Beautiful, 29 May 2022 Bulbs: Achimenes, African iris, African-lily, amaryllis, blood lily, bulbine, caladium, canna, crinum, crocosmia, dahlia, daylily, eucharis lily, gingers, gladiolus, gloriosa lily, Louisiana iris, rain lily, tuberose and walking iris. Tom MacCubbin,, 26 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'amaryllis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, genus name, probably from Latin, name of a shepherdess in Virgil's Eclogues

First Known Use

1754, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of amaryllis was in 1754

Dictionary Entries Near amaryllis

Cite this Entry

“Amaryllis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


am·​a·​ryl·​lis ˌam-ə-ˈril-əs How to pronounce amaryllis (audio)
: any of various plants of a group related to the lilies
especially : an African herb having a bulb and grown for its cluster of large showy flowers

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