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 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 Wolfe, presumably with hands in pockets, has pulled his pale jacket back to reveal the famed vestee, the wide damask tie skewered with a fancy cravat pin, pocket handkerchief fanning open like a magnolia in bloom. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Tom Wolfe: Remembering the Iconic Style of “The Man in the White Suit”," 15 May 2018 Several of those trees are Pennsylvania State Champions, such as an old cucumber magnolia that measures 202 inches around, 102 feet tall, and 93 feet wide. Virginia A. Smith,, "New public garden opens Sunday on former Haas estate in Villanova," 8 May 2018 Stephanie Boudreau and Chris Lesjak brought their daughter, Sophia, 3, to the nursery to get a pawpaw tree for the backyard and a magnolia for the side yard. Colin Campbell,, "Herring Run Nursery hosts Earth Day tree giveaway to help 'keep Baltimore green'," 22 Apr. 2018 Still, that glass vase and the organically twiggy Japanese magnolia that fill it—both rigid and expressive—have to work overtime to mediate between the split personalities of this room. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "A 21st-Century Approach to a 19th-Century Townhouse," 29 June 2018 The metal walkway with the eight-foot incline is flanked by warehouses and a floral arrangement of Allegheny serviceberry, eastern redbuds, wild ginger and magnolia trees. Andrea Sachs,, "Take a walk on New York's High Line from end-to-end," 2 July 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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Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for magnolia

The first known use of magnolia was in 1739

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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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Spanish Central: Translation of magnolia

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

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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