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 But progressively higher ion concentrations quickly turn it a pale pink and then a dark violet. Max G. Levy, Wired, "This Sticker Absorbs Sweat—and Might Diagnose Cystic Fibrosis," 8 Apr. 2021 Purple shampoos range in shade, all the way from a light lilac to a rich violet color. Sydney Poe,, "What is the best purple shampoo?," 4 Apr. 2021 For the 2nd week in a row, violet tornadoes ripped across parts of the Deep South. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, "Soggy Saturday, Sunny Sunday & 70s on Monday?," 26 Mar. 2021 In April, look for many colors of moth orchid, as well as the delicate violet orchid, a pendant-style native orchid with a spill of flowers. Cameron Walker, New York Times, "Greet Spring With a Visit to a Public Garden," 20 Mar. 2021 Velvety and complex, this scent is floral-heavy but masculine, with notes of jasmine, violet leaves, bergamot, and musk. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "My Dizzying Quest to Find the Best Colognes for Men," 19 Mar. 2021 On the nose, a floral note of violet is followed by red fruits, especially strawberry, red currant and a bit of cherry. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, "Why You Should Explore The World Of German Pinot Noir Wines," 18 Mar. 2021 Available in dusty violet, ochre, or ivory organic cotton. Lindsey Hunter Lopez, USA TODAY, "27 best Easter gifts for kids," 13 Mar. 2021 Embody elegance with touches of violet that reflect your chakra. Nathalie Kirby, House Beautiful, "How Your Major Chakra Can Determine Your Design Style," 8 Mar. 2021

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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Violet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

Nglish: Translation of violet for Spanish Speakers

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

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