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

The green-to-violet portion of the light spectrum gets filtered out, while the red, orange, and yellow wavelengths remain. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "How a Total Lunar Eclipse Works," 18 Jan. 2019 And at the Polynesian in Manhattan, a dash of ube extract made from purple yams lends a violet hue to a variation called the Commodore. Kara Newman, WSJ, "Shake Up the Daiquiri for Fall," 27 Sep. 2018 Charmed and Play resulted in a dreamy lid wash that alternately flashed violet and peach in the cool winter light. Sarah Wu, Glamour, "If You Buy Only One Palette This Year, Make It This," 29 Nov. 2018 For an afternoon party, fill Victorian teacups with small bunches of violets, and place one cup at each setting. Maggie O'neill, Good Housekeeping, "25 Practical Tips for Flower Arrangements From 1952," 7 May 2015 The set of twelve colors ranges from matte peach, to copper, to ruddy violet and shimmery grape. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "came into my life, and my horizons expanded—right up to cherry eyeshadow, the "everywhere" color of fall 2018.," 4 Oct. 2018 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

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

26 Jan 2019

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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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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

Comments on violet

What made you want to look up violet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a servile follower or underling

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