mag·​no·​lia | \ mag-ˈnōl-yə How to pronounce magnolia (audio) \

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 One of the magnolia buds is just, just, just about to bloom. Liana Finck, The New York Review of Books, "Rear Window," 15 Mar. 2020 Nantucket: Lingering migrants and summer residents including a piping plover, a black skimmer, and a magnolia warbler last week., "Most read on," 3 Nov. 2019 The chalky white and gray of the stones was punctuated here and there with pink-blossoming trees and saucer magnolias. Mary Norris, The New Yorker, "Coronavirus-Quarantine Diary: Counting the Dead," 28 Mar. 2020 Across the Northern Hemisphere, the flowers will soon be blooming everywhere: seas of sunflowers in Tuscany, wispy wisteria in Japan, lavender fields in southern France, the cherry blossoms and magnolias in the American Northeast. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "Instagram’s Favourite Tulips Are Closed To The Public, But You Can Still Watch Them Bloom Online," 9 Apr. 2020 Tammy: [alarmed-looking duck emoji] Mom: [two photos of magnolia trees] Tammy: Wow!! Sylvia Poggioli, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 23–29," 29 Mar. 2020 San Ysidro Ranch is set on a sprawling 500 acres with an abundance of flora: olive, orange, eucalyptus, lemon, pepper and jacaranda trees, gardens filled with jasmine, magnolias, roses and lavender. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Inside the Glamorous Montecito Ranch Where Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger Got Married," 18 June 2019 Another option: snip some fresh magnolia or cedar from the yard for a fragrant topper. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "10 Gift Wrapping Tips from 'Wrap Battle' Judge Carson Kressley," 9 Dec. 2019 Natchez Balloon Festival October 18–20 | Natchez, Mississippi Spanish moss and massive magnolias fringe antebellum estates throughout Natchez, the oldest city on the Mississippi River. Caitlin Etherton, National Geographic, "These are the 7 best fall festivals in the United States," 15 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for magnolia

Time Traveler

The first known use of magnolia was in 1739

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Cite this Entry

“Magnolia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce magnolia (audio) \

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 How to pronounce magnolia (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on magnolia

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

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