water lily


Definition of water lily

: any of various aquatic plants (especially genera Nymphaea and Nuphar of the family Nymphaeaceae, the water-lily family) with floating leaves and usually showy flowers broadly : an aquatic plant (such as a water hyacinth) with showy flowers

Examples of water lily in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In places the juddering repetition of fragmented color recalls, of all things, late Monet water lilies. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, "The Master of Unknowing," 25 Apr. 2020 The haul also included fossilized water lily seeds and shark and ray teeth. Lucas Joel, New York Times, "Fossil Shows Cold-Blooded Frogs Lived on Warm Antarctica," 23 Apr. 2020 Tropical Asia and Queensland, Australia Similar to water lilies, lotuses have wide, flat leaves that emerge just above the surface of shallow bodies of freshwater. Kat Craddock, Saveur, "10 Flavor-Packed Leaves From Around the World to Bring Into Your Kitchen," 25 May 2017 Niloufar is a water lily, a beautiful thing, a miracle on murky waters. Naz Riahi, Longreads, "All that Was Innocent and Violent: Girlhood in Post-Revolution Iran," 19 Mar. 2020 Wochit If this were June, the fragrance of water lilies would drift across the grounds — white, yellow, pink blooms, opening their petals then closing them, taking cues from the sun. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$3.2M Bloomfield Hills estate is so grand your guests can have guests," 15 Feb. 2020 Green, blooming spaces — cactus, water lily and orchid gardens; ponds alive with koi; Jewel’s indoor forest — beckon with flowering plants, palms and water flowing over rocks into pools and ponds. Stephanie Rosenbloom, New York Times, "My 27-Hour Vacation in Singapore’s Changi Airport," 2 Dec. 2019 There are little ponds fringed with grasses, floating water lilies and benches beneath tree canopies that provide cool cover. Los Angeles Times, "Serenity, now: Where to find a quiet spot amid the bustle of L.A.," 20 Sep. 2019 The surface of the clear water is heavily speckled with water lilies blooming in the hot summer sun. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A trip to a Kent preserve Monet might have painted," 2 Aug. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for water lily

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The first known use of water lily was in the 15th century

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Statistics for water lily

Last Updated

10 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Water lily.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20lily. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for water lily

water lily


English Language Learners Definition of water lily

: a plant that grows in water with round, floating leaves and large flowers

water lily


Kids Definition of water lily

: a water plant with rounded floating leaves and showy often fragrant flowers

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More from Merriam-Webster on water lily

Spanish Central: Translation of water lily

Nglish: Translation of water lily for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about water lily

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