\ 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 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 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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Squill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squill. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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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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