1

sylvan

noun syl·van \ ˈsil-vən \

Definition of sylvan

:one that frequents groves or woods

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First Known Use of sylvan

1565


2

sylvan

adjective

Definition of sylvan

1 a :living or located in the woods or forest
b :of, relating to, or characteristic of the woods or forest
2 a :made, shaped, or formed of woods or trees
b :abounding in woods, groves, or trees :wooded

Recent Examples of sylvan from the Web

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

See The Forest And the Trees With sylva

In Latin, sylva means "wood" or "forest," and the related Sylvanus is the name of the Roman god of the woods and fields—a god sometimes identified with the Greek god Pan. These words gave rise to English sylvan in the 16th century. The English word was first used as a noun meaning "a mythological deity of the woods," eventually taking on the broader meaning "one who frequents the woods." The adjective sylvan followed soon after the noun and is now the more common word. Some other offspring of sylva (which can also be spelled silva) include silviculture ("a branch of forestry dealing with the development and care of forests"), sylvatic (a synonym of sylvan that can also mean "occurring in or affecting wild animals"), and the first name Sylvia.

Origin and Etymology of sylvan

Medieval Latin silvanus, sylvanus, from Latin silva, sylva wood


SYLVAN Defined for English Language Learners

sylvan

adjective

Definition of sylvan for English Language Learners

  • : having a lot of woods or trees


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