co·​le·​us ˈkō-lē-əs How to pronounce coleus (audio)
: any of a large genus (Coleus) of Old World herbs of the mint family including ones cultivated for their colorful foliage

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Pinching back your coleus will keep them show-worthy all season. Erynn Hassinger, Country Living, 22 Apr. 2023 Other guides include peony, redbud, azalea, elephant ear, coleus, lantana and coneflower. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Another summer tip is to focus on tropical foliage plants such as coleus, Persian shield, and ornamental sweet potato vine, said Maggie Oldfield of Thayer Nursery in Milton. Carol Stocker,, 1 Mar. 2023 This 15-foot-long box is planted with repeating groups of ivy ball topiary, chartreuse coleus, and white caladium for a sense of flow and order. Miranda Crowell, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Mar. 2023 Annuals such as coleus, sunpatiens and begonias tend to wilt in the dry heat, but usually recover once the weather cools off. Dallas News, 7 July 2022 Innosupps T-Drive is formulated with a variety of highly effective ingredients, including tribulus terrestris, boron, fenugreek, epimedium, and coleus forskohlii as well as zinc, niacin, magnesium, and vitamin D3. The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Nov. 2022 There are many different types of coleus, providing a wide range of foliage color. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 9 Oct. 2022 Other guides include azalea, redbud, Lenten rose, peony, elephant ear, coleus and lantana. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 27 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coleus.' 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, from Greek koleos, koleon sheath

First Known Use

1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coleus was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near coleus

Cite this Entry

“Coleus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


co·​le·​us ˈkō-lē-əs How to pronounce coleus (audio)
: any of a large genus of herbs related to the mints and often grown for their leaves of various colors

More from Merriam-Webster on coleus

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