vi·o·let | \ ˈvī-(ə-)lət \

Definition of violet 

1a : any of a genus (Viola of the family Violaceae, the violet family) of chiefly herbs with alternate stipulate leaves and showy flowers in spring and often cleistogamous flowers in summer especially : one with smaller usually solid-colored flowers as distinguished from the usually larger-flowered violas and pansies

b : any of several plants of genera other than that of the violet — compare dogtooth violet

2 : any of a group of colors of reddish-blue hue, low lightness, and medium saturation

Illustration of violet

Illustration of violet

violet 1a

Examples of violet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This 100 percent varietal offers notes of violets, blackberry, plum, dark cherry, pencil shavings, raspberry and incense. Michael Austin,, "Explore Michigan's diverse wine scene, one of the country's most exciting developing regions," 5 July 2018 Roses are red, violets are blue, toilets were made for people like you. Jennifer Billock, The Atlantic, "Why Do People Sign Yearbooks?," 3 June 2018 Garalis Limnio 2016 Attractive aromas of red fruit, violets, and mineral hint at the palate to come, which is full of juicy red fruits and plentiful-but-polished tannins. Ellen Bhang,, "Set the table with these distinctive Greek wines," 2 July 2018 Single mothers, elegant divorcées, spinster aunts, bored housewives, daughters, wilting violets … all in anxious anticipation as to whether the shoe will fit, fit them alone, that the prince from the fairy tale is meant for them. New York Times, "My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me," 15 June 2018 In 1872, Manet painted a small still life of a bouquet of violets for his close friend and fellow artist, Berthe Morisot, and the flowers showed up again that year in his portrait of Morisot dressed in black mourning clothes. Christopher Knight,, "Dan McCleary's paintings: Life at its peak beauty, but then what?," 14 June 2018 Beneath the surface, though, hints of violets appear. Maggie Hoffman, Sunset, "8 Chilled Red Wines Perfect for Summer Sipping," 22 Jan. 2018 Rayuelo is her bobal, citrus-edged and smelling like violets, with exotic fruit flavors and fine tannins. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "The Grape From Manchuela," 21 June 2018 While Real Simple reports that particular shade is discontinued, seven other shades are still available, ranging from soft blacks and browns to a vibrant blue and a dark violet with a pearly red sheen. Emily Wang, Allure, "Mandy Moore Praised This M.A.C. Gel Eyeliner as Her Favorite on Instagram," 8 June 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for violet

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, from viole "the violet flower" (going back to Latin viola "any of various spring flowers, as Viola odorata," derivative of a base vi- of Mediterranean substratal origin, as also Greek íon "the color violet") + -et -et entry 1

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for violet

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

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English Language Learners Definition of violet

: a plant that has small bluish-purple or white flowers

: a bluish-purple color


vi·o·let | \ ˈvī-ə-lət \

Kids Definition of violet

1 : a wild or garden plant related to the pansies that has small often fragrant white, blue, purple, or yellow flowers

2 : a bluish purple

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