mag·​no·​lia | \mag-ˈnōl-yə \

Definition of magnolia 

: any of a genus (Magnolia of the family Magnoliaceae, the magnolia family) of American and Asian shrubs and trees with entire evergreen or deciduous leaves and usually showy white, yellow, rose, or purple flowers usually appearing in early spring

Illustration of magnolia

Illustration of magnolia

Examples of magnolia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The magnolias were in full bloom, tourist season was just around the corner, and local businesses were open and excited to welcome cyclists. Annie Daly, SELF, "12 Beautiful Biking Destinations You’ll Want to Add to Your Bucket List," 18 July 2018 Those key notes are blended with black pepper, lemon sfuma, magnolia grandiflora, jasmine absolute, olibanum essential oil, and Ambrox Super. Marci Robin, Allure, "Lupita Nyong'o and Saoirse Ronan Are the Faces of Calvin Klein's New Fragrance, Women," 16 July 2018 Georgia, for example, is a mix of peaches, magnolias, asters, and sweet tea. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Homesick Candles Smell Just Like Your Favorite Childhood Memories," 21 Aug. 2018 Artist Michele Martinez provided a large, magnolia flower painting as a backdrop for the Get Back Band. Sue Strachan,, "Parkway Promenade raises funds to beautify Jefferson Parish," 22 Apr. 2018 Star magnolia blossoms are unusual, with narrow petals and a bit floppy, in a charming way. Ellen Nibali,, "Garden Q&A: The first star magnolia to bloom in spring," 19 Apr. 2018 The men's options include brown calfskin riding boots ($2,500) and two-tone nubuck and calfskin Oxfords (in two color combinations; magnolia/black and cognac/brown, $1,150 each), referencing styles worn by Rudolph Valentino from 1921 to 1926. Adam Tschorn,, "New Salvatore Ferragamo collection lets you step into styles worn by Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino," 15 May 2018 The male magnolia in spring is one of my favorite warblers in terms of color coordination. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Goal for a Big Day: Count as many bird species as you can find | Charlotte Observer," 14 May 2018 Draper James Stripe Eyelet Ruffle Cotton Dress, $450; Magnolia Midi Dress The bold yellow hue, magnolia floral print and slight asymmetrical ruffle hem has this midi dress hitting all of our favorite spring trends. Kami Phillips,, "Reese Witherspoon's Draper James Line Just Launched the Prettiest Party Dresses at Saks," 27 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'magnolia.' 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 magnolia

1739, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for magnolia

New Latin, from Pierre Magnol †1715 French botanist

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Statistics for magnolia

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for magnolia

The first known use of magnolia was in 1739

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More Definitions for magnolia



English Language Learners Definition of magnolia

: a tree or tall bush that has white, pink, yellow, or purple flowers


mag·​no·​lia | \mag-ˈnōl-yə \

Kids Definition of magnolia

: a tree or tall shrub having showy white, pink, yellow, or purple flowers that appear in early spring


mag·​no·​lia | \mag-ˈnōl-yə \

Medical Definition of magnolia 

1 capitalized : a genus (family Magnoliaceae, the magnolia family) of North American and Asian shrubs and trees including some whose bark has been used especially as a bitter tonic and diaphoretic in folk medicine

2a : any shrub or tree of the genus Magnolia

b : the dried bark of a magnolia

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More from Merriam-Webster on magnolia

Spanish Central: Translation of magnolia

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

Comments on magnolia

What made you want to look up magnolia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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