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 The 18-year-old pop phenom was wearing a short lilac dress and black Doc Martens as the crowd sang along to the radio hit as she was surrounded by dancers in matching outfits. Rachel Desantis,, 12 Sep. 2021 This serum is one of the more rounded formulas on this list, and is designed for all skin types—even oily—since those lilac stem cells also help balance sebum production. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 26 Aug. 2021 His favorite shade of nail polish—right now—is lilac. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 11 Aug. 2021 Who can complain about having lilac blossoms for an extra two weeks? Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 15 July 2021 Flowers – think striking arrangements of blue delphiniums and lilac hydrangeas – are artfully arranged by local artisan florist Julia Marsden Flowers. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 28 June 2021 From the outside, the house isn’t terribly different from others on the block: a cozy bungalow in L.A.’s Highland Park neighborhood with an old lilac tree blooming near the entrance. Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, 17 June 2021 However, this year the ceremony was scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic, and today the Queen made the journey to the Palace of Westminster by car and wore a lilac day dress and hat. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 11 May 2021 But that doesn’t mean your morning rinse will be any less luxe: Indian lilac gives the concentrated conditioner its sophisticated floral scent. Jeffrey Westbrook, Marie Claire, 1 Apr. 2021

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

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lilac.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for lilac



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

More from Merriam-Webster on lilac

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


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