\ ˈskwil How to pronounce squill (audio) \

Definition of squill

1a : 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 Visitors can track down flowers throughout the year, like crocus and squill, which bloom in March. Cameron Walker, New York Times, "Greet Spring With a Visit to a Public Garden," 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, "Revisiting the Posy in Our Current Moment," 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, "Ditch the grass — here are some better ground covering options for those shady spots under trees," 28 Aug. 2019 Grape hyacinths, crocus, snowdrops, Siberian squill and bluebells can be grown under deciduous trees. Jeff Lowenfels, Alaska Dispatch News, "Go forth and plant spring bulbs," 15 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'squill.' 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 squill

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

History and Etymology for squill

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).

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Time Traveler for squill

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

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Statistics for squill

Last Updated

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Squill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squill. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for squill


\ ˈskwil How to pronounce squill (audio) \

Medical Definition of squill

1a : 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)
2a : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on squill

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about squill

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