for·​syth·​ia fər-ˈsi-thē-ə How to pronounce forsythia (audio)
 chiefly British  -ˈsī-
plural forsythias also forsythia
: any of a genus (Forsythia) of ornamental shrubs of the olive family with opposite leaves and yellow bell-shaped flowers appearing before the leaves in early spring

Illustration of forsythia

Illustration of forsythia

Examples of forsythia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Flowers were arriving from across the region: White forsythias, which smelled like nectar. Emily Davies, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 In the South, forsythia can bloom as early as February, or in early- to mid-April in Zone 6. Katelyn Chef, Southern Living, 9 Feb. 2024 This plant is often mistakenly identified as forsythia with similar yellow blooms on arching stems, but this plant blooms several weeks earlier than forsythia, and is a much lower growing plant. Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, 7 Mar. 2022 This branch of spring is a real interloper, a man’s arm covered in hard yellow blossoms, No. 2 yellow, like a line of forsythia in inter-winter-spring. Amanda Gokee,, 16 May 2023 Cherry blossoms on the downtown Portland waterfront were not yet at peak bloom, but there was spring color to be found at the nearby Lan Su Chinese Garden, where winter camellias continued to show their glory, along with yellow forsythia and pink quince flowers. oregonlive, 24 Mar. 2021 Euonymus, forsythia, and roses are common victims. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 30 Mar. 2023 Observers are reporting very early leaf outs of the common lilac in Pennsylvania, the brilliant yellow blossoms of forsythia in Maine and American witch hazel in New York, said Theresa Crimmins, director of the USA National Phenology Network at the University of Arizona. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 9 Mar. 2023 When the Israel-Egypt peace treaty was signed in 1979, President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, hosted a dinner for 1,340 people on the South Lawn of the White House; Mr. Varney covered the tables in a forsythia pattern and set them in an orange tent. New York Times, 24 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'forsythia.' 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, from William Forsyth †1804 British botanist

First Known Use

circa 1814, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of forsythia was circa 1814

Dictionary Entries Near forsythia

Cite this Entry

“Forsythia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


for·​syth·​ia fər-ˈsith-ē-ə How to pronounce forsythia (audio)
plural forsythias also forsythia
: any of a genus of shrubs related to the olive and having yellow bell-shaped flowers appearing before the leaves in early spring

More from Merriam-Webster on forsythia

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