li·​lac | \ ˈlī-ˌläk , -ˌlak, -lək \

Definition of lilac

1a : a widely cultivated European shrub (Syringa vulgaris) of the olive family that has cordate ovate leaves and large panicles of fragrant pinkish-purple or white flowers
b : a tree or shrub congeneric with the lilac
2 : a variable color averaging a moderate purple

Illustration of lilac

Illustration of lilac

lilac 1a

Examples of lilac in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

With a whopping 60% of the votes, her fans spoke, and decided that lilac was the way to go. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Halsey's Lilac Hair Color Was Chosen by Her Fans," 10 Jan. 2019 If millennial pink is the trendiest color right now, lilac isn't far behind. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "Weigh In: Which Paint Colors Are Totally Overrated?," 20 Aug. 2018 Experts discuss how developments in science — and even the French lilac — hold some clues. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Goodbye, Queen of Soul," 17 Aug. 2018 The Grown-ish actress and activist's mane moment took its cues from Lil Kim circa 1999, right down to the eyelash-grazing fringe, Kim's glossy lilac exchanged for a matte, multi-tonal iteration. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Yara Shahidi Knows Why a Dramatic Makeover is the Answer to Snowy Day Boredom," 21 Mar. 2018 Case in point: Teal pigment was painted atop lids at Carolina Herrera; swipes of lilac and silver cat-eyes sparkled at Altuzarra; and inky graphic strokes struck a futuristic note at Chanel. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "The 11 Best Beauty Moments From the Pre-Fall 2019 Collections," 13 Dec. 2018 The color was previously a Pinterest fave and received the support of Ariana Grande and Cardi B. Even Rihanna appears to have purple on her mind, and just announced a number of new Fenty Beauty products that will feature some icy shades of lilac. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Amandla Stenberg Wore Purple Eyeshadow on "The Hate U Give" Red Carpet," 5 Oct. 2018 The shimmering lilac dress featured a mock neck top three-quarter sleeves that lent a demure refinement to her signature A-line mod silhouette. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Brigitte Macron Fetes Japan’s Crown Prince in—What Else?—Louis Vuitton," 13 Sep. 2018 And finally, Soft Focus highlights on-trend pastels like blush peach and lilac. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Behr Paint Announces Its 2019 Color of the Year, and You'll Actually Want to Try It," 23 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lilac.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lilac

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lilac

obsolete French (now lilas), from Arabic līlak, from Persian nīlak bluish, from nīl blue, from Sanskrit nīla dark blue

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Dictionary Entries near lilac





lilac daphne


lilac gray

Statistics for lilac

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for lilac

The first known use of lilac was in 1625

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English Language Learners Definition of lilac

: a type of bush with purple or white flowers that bloom in the spring
: a light purple color


li·​lac | \ ˈlī-ˌläk , -ˌlak, -lək\

Kids Definition of lilac

1 : a bush having clusters of fragrant pink, purple, or white flowers
2 : a medium purple

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More from Merriam-Webster on lilac

Spanish Central: Translation of lilac

Nglish: Translation of lilac for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about lilac

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irregularly rounded

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