wis·​te·​ria | \ wi-ˈstir-ē-ə How to pronounce wisteria (audio) \
variants: or less commonly wistaria \ wi-​ˈstir-​ē-​ə also  -​ˈster-​ How to pronounce wistaria (audio) \

Definition of wisteria

: any of a genus (Wisteria) of mostly woody leguminous vines of China, Japan, and the southeastern U.S. that have pinnately compound leaves and long racemes of showy blue, white, purple, or rose papilionaceous flowers and that include several (such as W. sinensis and W. floribunda) grown as ornamentals

Illustration of wisteria

Illustration of wisteria

Examples of wisteria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Enjoy it under the canopy of wisteria and twinkle lights on an evening at The Garage. Birmingham Magazine, al, "Birmingham City Bite: The Garage’s Fritz Sandwich," 26 Sep. 2019 Visitors now approach via a straight stone walkway leading to the front porch and its crown of wisteria. Emily Young, Los Angeles Times, "A Santa Monica backyard is remade for outdoor entertaining," 22 Aug. 2019 Some of the historically important perfumed vines such as Asian wisterias, Japanese honeysuckle and sweet autumn clematis have fallen from grace because of their invasive qualities. Washington Post, "Gardens have largely lost their fragrance. Here’s how we can bring it back.," 4 Dec. 2019 The balcony scene also is captivating, with thick wisteria vines cascading over the wall to deepen the shadows that conceal Cyrano and Christian. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Cyrano': Theater Review," 8 Nov. 2019 Overhead, wisteria-laden laths shot through with light cast zebraic arrays of shadow, constantly shifting — another Killingsworth trademark that turns the house into a protean phenomenon. R. Daniel Foster, Los Angeles Times, "Take a rare look inside architect Edward Killingsworth’s Long Beach home," 18 Oct. 2019 Late fall and winter allow time to remove those invasive vines creeping along woodland floor and up trees, including porcelain berry, bittersweet, wisteria and honeysuckle. Washington Post, "The winter garden is full of promise and productivity. Don’t let it go to waste.," 20 Nov. 2019 And the gardens are like an impressionist painting come to life, with water lilies, weeping willows, wisterias, and the famous green Japanese bridge. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Beautiful Places in France," 5 Nov. 2019 Manicured gardens, lush foliage and arbors dripping with wisteria create an enchanting backyard setting. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: This spacious, gracious Monte Sereno estate ensures a tranquil lifestyle close to Los Gatos," 30 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wisteria.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of wisteria

1842, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wisteria

New Latin Wisteria, from Caspar Wistar †1818 American physician

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wisteria

Time Traveler for wisteria

Time Traveler

The first known use of wisteria was in 1842

See more words from the same year

Statistics for wisteria

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wisteria.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisteria. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wisteria


How to pronounce wisteria (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wisteria

: a plant that grows as a thick vine with large bunches of purple or white flowers


wis·​te·​ria | \ wi-ˈstir-ē-ə How to pronounce wisteria (audio) \
variants: also wistaria \ -​ˈstir-​ē-​ə , -​ˈster-​ \

Kids Definition of wisteria

: a woody vine that is grown for its long clusters of violet, white, or pink flowers

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on wisteria

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wisteria

Spanish Central: Translation of wisteria

Nglish: Translation of wisteria for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wisteria

Comments on wisteria

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!