vi·​o·​let | \ ˈvī-(ə-)lət How to pronounce violet (audio) \

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 The soft violets and purples splashing the walls of the Jeremy West Hollywood's Great Room paid homage to the night's Ambassador of Change honoree and music icon who passed away in April 2016. Alexandra Del Rosario, Billboard, "Prince Celebrated at Education Nonprofit's Gala Event Hosted by Anthony Anderson," 4 Mar. 2019 Wood violet: Wisconsin’s state flower is, as the name implies, purple, with five petals. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are some Wisconsin wildflowers and wildlife to look for on your socially distanced walks this spring," 2 Apr. 2020 Undisciplined ivy scales the building in thick ropes and coils of porcelain berry vine, whose fruit will ripen to obscene brilliance come autumn, those strange berries, turquoise, violet, azure . . . Campbell Mcgrath, The New Yorker, "At the Ruins of Yankee Stadium," 20 Apr. 2020 The night sky over Snowflake, Ariz., glowed pink and purple due to ultra-violet lights from a nearby marijuana farm called Copperstate Farms, the Arizona Republic reported. Fox News, "Night sky above Arizona town glowed purple due to nearby marijuana farm: report," 13 Jan. 2020 Or Liz Taylor, whose luxe rumple of espresso curls had all the drama of her famous violet eyes. Sophie Schulte-hillen, Vogue, "The Best Brunettes of All Time, From Jackie O to Penélope Cruz," 28 July 2018 But violet, which is considered a ‘toned down’ version of black, represents the absence of mourning. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, "There's a Reason Easter Eggs Are Decorated with Pastel Colors," 10 Apr. 2020 Make that purple carpet: This year the crimson walkway got a chic makeover and turned a deep shade of violet. David Syrek,, "Emmy Awards 2019: Red hot style on the purple carpet," 22 Sep. 2019 The bright orange stigmas are surrounded by petals of deep violet. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "As summer’s heat wanes, it’s time to plan (and plant) for late-winter beauty," 4 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for violet

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for violet

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Violet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for violet


How to pronounce violet (audio)

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 How to pronounce violet (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on violet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with violet

Spanish Central: Translation of violet

Nglish: Translation of violet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of violet for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about violet

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