rho·​do·​den·​dron ˌrō-də-ˈden-drən How to pronounce rhododendron (audio)
: any of a genus (Rhododendron) of widely cultivated shrubs and trees of the heath family with alternate leaves and showy flowers
especially : one with leathery evergreen leaves as distinguished from a deciduous azalea

Illustration of rhododendron

Illustration of rhododendron

Examples of rhododendron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 20-acre terraced garden blooms with over 500 plant species, including 150 azalea varieties, a rhododendron forest, assorted camellias, a fern valley, and arched citrus tree tunnels. Jaclyn Degiorgio, Condé Nast Traveler, 10 July 2024 Illuminated by nature’s spotlight, Sasha poses in front of a hedge brimming with rhododendrons under the watchful eye of celebrity stylist Law Roach. Sadaf Shaikh, Vogue, 4 July 2024 The rhododendrons were bursting with life and the marble statues were as glittering and glorious as ever. Katy Kelleher, Outside Online, 27 June 2024 The open, rocky mountain terrain had been softened by rhododendron bushes and an icy blue stream, covered in some places by rolling fog. Gisela Williams, Travel + Leisure, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for rhododendron 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rhododendron.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin (linnaeus), going back to Latin, "oleander, a plant of the Black Sea region described by Pliny whose honey is toxic (probably Rhododendron ponticum)," borrowed from Greek rhodódendron, from rhodo- rhodo- + déndron "tree" — more at dendro-

First Known Use

1657, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rhododendron was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near rhododendron

Cite this Entry

“Rhododendron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhododendron. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


rho·​do·​den·​dron ˌrōd-ə-ˈden-drən How to pronounce rhododendron (audio)
: any of a genus of trees and shrubs of the heath family that often have leathery evergreen leaves and showy clusters of yellow, white, pink, red, or purple flowers

from scientific Latin rhododendron "rhododendron," derived from Greek rhodon "rose" and Greek dendron "tree"

More from Merriam-Webster on rhododendron

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