squill

noun

1
a
: a Mediterranean bulbous herb (Urginea maritima) of the lily family

called also sea onion

compare red squill sense 1
b(1)
: the dried sliced bulb scales of a squill used especially formerly as an expectorant, cardiac stimulant, and diuretic
2
: scilla

Examples of squill in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Striped squill is a relatively short plant that grows 6-8 inches in height. Nicole Bradley, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Sep. 2022 Peruvian squill - Scilla peruviana commonly called Portuguese squill, is a spring-blooming bulb with beautiful purple-blue flowers. Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, 18 Apr. 2021 Not as common but also popping up in April are marsh marigolds and a few nonnative garden escapees: purple and yellow crocuses, little white snowdrops and purple Siberian squill. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2022 Try planting bulbs such as daffodils, ornamental onions, grape hyacinth, fritillaria, snowdrops, winter aconite and Siberian squill that are more resistant to animals. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 13 Nov. 2021 Visitors can track down flowers throughout the year, like crocus and squill, which bloom in March. Cameron Walker, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2021 On Instagram, friends share colorful, exuberant, almost psychedelic pictures of turmeric-orange poppies in Berkeley, Calif., of cotton-candy ornamental cherry trees in Portland, Ore., of bluish-purple Siberian squill in upstate New York. Amanda Fortini, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2020 For flowers in spring, plant some of the more shade-tolerant spring-flowering bulbs, such as early daffodils, Siberian squill, snowdrops and grape hyacinths, among your ground cover plants. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, 28 Aug. 2019 Grape hyacinths, crocus, snowdrops, Siberian squill and bluebells can be grown under deciduous trees. Jeff Lowenfels, Alaska Dispatch News, 15 Sep. 2017 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English squylle, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French squille, esquille, borrowed from Latin scilla, squilla, borrowed from Greek skílla, probably of pre-Greek substratal origin

Note: The extant Latin textual sources apply the spellings scilla and squilla somewhat indiscriminately to both the plant, properly scilla, and to a crustacean, properly squilla (see squilla).

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of squill was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near squill

Cite this Entry

“Squill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squill. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

squill

noun
1
a
: a Mediterranean bulbous herb of the genus Urginea (U. maritima) of the lily family

called also sea onion

b
: any of several other plants of the genus Urginea
c
: the bulbs of a squill (especially U. maritima)
2
a
: the dried sliced bulb of the white-bulbed form of the squill (Urginea maritima) of the Mediterranean region or the dried sliced bulb of a related Asian plant (U. indica) that contains one or more physically active cardiac glycosides and was formerly used as an expectorant, cardiac stimulant, and diuretic see urginea sense 2a compare white squill

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