hol·​ly·​hock ˈhä-lē-ˌhäk How to pronounce hollyhock (audio)
: a tall widely cultivated biennial or perennial herb (Alcea rosea synonym Althaea rosea) of the mallow family that has large coarse rounded leaves and tall spikes of showy flowers and that is probably of Asian origin

Illustration of hollyhock

Illustration of hollyhock

Examples of hollyhock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Zinnias, hollyhock, cone flower, and cosmos are all perfect late-season choices that can be used for both bundle- and dip-dyeing fabrics. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 This one is more true to life, and it’s loosely based on the hollyhocks in Fragonard’s Progress of Love series. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, 1 Sep. 2023 Others, like tomatoes and hollyhocks, can get laden down with fruits and flowers. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 16 June 2023 Also, seeds from several plants might produce hollyhocks of different colors. Orlando Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2023 Biennials include foxgloves, hollyhocks, pansies, sweet William Dianthus, and forget-me-not. Lynn Coulter, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Apr. 2023 Dry spring weather is an excellent time to remove seed pods from hollyhock plants. Orlando Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2023 Flowers to start from seed now: Fibrous begonias, rhodochitins, hollyhock and lupine. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Mar. 2021 Flowers to start from seed: Sweet peas, hollyhock, digitalis Flowers to start from corms: Gladiolas can be started now through April 1 for a succession of blooms at the end of August. Jeff Lowenfels | Alaska Gardening and Growing, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English holihoc marshmallow, from holi holy + hoc mallow, from Old English

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hollyhock was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near hollyhock

Cite this Entry

“Hollyhock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hollyhock. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


hol·​ly·​hock ˈhäl-ē-ˌhäk How to pronounce hollyhock (audio)
: a widely grown Asian herb related to the mallows and having large coarse rounded leaves and tall stalks bearing showy flowers

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