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

One prime example: A new work bag in lilac is a stylish asset that can take you through spring and summer. The Cut, "5 Spring Color Trends, 15 Fashion Must-Haves," 28 Apr. 2018 Strange to think of a form of love going extinct, like a carrier pigeon, a rare tortoise, a lilac or apple whose seeds are not to be found anymore, the scent and taste of the thing long lost, never to be touched again. Longreads, "The Ladies Who Were Famous for Wanting to Be Left Alone," 17 Apr. 2018 Jonathan Adler’s gray Malachite wallpaper leans more lilac than slate, which better suits the plum comforter, while the golden outlines give a slight nod to the rug, end tables, and fab chandelier. Stephanie Granada, Sunset, "10 Adorable Kids’ Wallpaper Ideas," 22 Jan. 2018 Many households during this time planted lilacs around windows and doors. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "Home Fragrances: A Brief History, From Ancient Egypt To Today," 5 Aug. 2016 When Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel arrived in Caracas for an official visit to Venezuela on Wednesday, the woman in the purple and black dress with the stylish lilac purse is very much in evidence. Mimi Whitefield And Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "Cuba's first lady is no mystery but you would not know it from coverage in state media," 31 May 2018 In a pastel lilac shade, this attitude translated as approachable — lighthearted, even. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Tired of Millennial Pink? Try Melodramatic Purple," 26 Apr. 2018 In the past year alone, she's dyed her hair watermelon pink, candy-apple red, lilac, brown, and blonde. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Hani of K-Pop Group EXID Reveals Her Simple Routine for Getting Glass Skin," 2 July 2018 Another lilac festival is held on Mackinac Island in Michigan, June 8-17. Beth J. Harpaz, Houston Chronicle, "Cherry blossoms, tulips and lilacs: It's flower festival time," 16 Mar. 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

5 Nov 2018

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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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something that serves to warn or remind

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