li·​lac | \ ˈlī-ˌläk How to pronounce lilac (audio) , -ˌlak, -lək How to pronounce lilac (audio) \

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

In addition to fall-blooming azaleas, consumers can find hydrangeas that flower in September, sunflowers still going strong in October, lilacs in fragrant bloom in August and even a clematis that produces its bell-like blooms until frost. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "Sunflowers in October? Breeders are racing to develop plants that flower again and again.," 21 Aug. 2019 Then these translucent brown spots appeared on lilacs all over. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what’s going on with those blotchy brown spots on your lilac bush," 12 July 2019 Finally, those leaf rollers really did a number on most of the lilac bushes. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Last year’s garden did great. This year, it did nothing. What went wrong?," 1 Aug. 2019 For a true lilac shade, hair needs to be a pale, neutral blonde. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "How To Get Megan Rapinoe’s 2019 World Cup Winning Purple Hair," 8 July 2019 The spacious living room has an enormous window that lets in a ton of light, all of it reflecting on the periwinkle coffee table, lilac carpet, and purple walls. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Every Inch of This Home Was Decorated in Shades of Purple," 24 June 2019 Sunmi morphed into the mermaid with the help of scale-like sequins on her hands, arms, and temples, as well as shimmery lilac eye shadow. Devon Abelman, Allure, "K-Pop Star Sunmi's Best Makeup Looks From Her New "Siren" Music Video," 4 Sep. 2018 There are three California lilacs with whispery purple buds to remember the triplets. Kevin Fisher-paulson,, "An olive branch to S.F. sourdough lovers," 30 July 2019 The Duchess of Cambridge wore a lilac A-line Emilia Wickstead dress and a crocodile Aspinal of London handbag. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears an Emilia Wickstead Dress to the Global Mental Health Summit with Prince William," 9 Oct. 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

24 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce lilac (audio) , -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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