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

Thousands of women gathered Sunday to turn British cities into rivers of green, white and violet to mark 100 years since the first U.K. women won the right to vote. Washington Post, "100 years of voting: British marches celebrate suffragettes," 10 June 2018 On offer are lamps, garment racks, side tables, and accent chairs; all dyed a shade of vibrant violet. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Crosby Studios Opens an Ultra-Cool, Ultraviolet Pop-Up at Opening Ceremony," 10 May 2018 The classic aroma of violets hovers in the glass as the wine lands at first sip with a lean elegance. Craig Laban,, "Drink: Uncle Paul's red Burgundy from Jean-Louis Maissenet Bonnard," 5 Apr. 2018 There are three different color options—fuchsia, violet, or denim blue—each with devoted washing machines that’ll transform your scarf in 24 to 48 hours. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "An Hermès Laundromat Is Coming To New York," 14 June 2017 Bubblegum pink, violet, chartreuse, and royal blue make up half of the shades available. Devon Abelman, Allure, "9 of the Best Colored Mascaras for Trying the Bold Lash Trend," 3 May 2018 However, there are usually some other colors in a garden — blue-violet, deep purple, white, and two-tone flowers that are white with various shades of purple. Pam Peirce, San Francisco Chronicle, "How do flowers get their color and can I change it?," 30 Mar. 2018 Make like the royal couple and order your own cake — coconut pudding or a chocolate violet cream cake ($68, serves up to 12) — for a sweet treat. Mary Forgione,, "Not invited to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding? Here are five places where you can feel like a royal," 27 Apr. 2018 Throughout the past almost year and a half, Lobato's hair has been several variations of blue, green, violet, and gray. Wendy Sy, Allure, "This Holographic, Floral-Patterned Buzz Cut Is the Prettiest Short Hairstyle for Spring," 19 Mar. 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

16 Nov 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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