smi·​lax ˈsmī-ˌlaks How to pronounce smilax (audio)
: a tender twining asparagus (Asparagus asparagoides) of southern Africa that has ovate bright green cladophylls which are often used in floral arrangements

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The front of the stage was draped with ivy and smilax and a profusion of flowers addend much to the scenic effect. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 June 2022 That list includes but is not limited to honeysuckle, Carolina snailseed, poison ivy, smilax and bindweed. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 2 Aug. 2021 Meanwhile, the ceiling was lined with smilax and Italian ruscus greenery. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smilax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin, bindweed, yew, from Greek

First Known Use

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of smilax was in 1551

Dictionary Entries Near smilax

Cite this Entry

“Smilax.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


Smi·​lax ˈsmī-ˌlaks How to pronounce Smilax (audio)
: a large widely distributed genus of plants of the lily family (Liliaceae) which includes the sarsaparillas

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