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 No one likes heading to the salon every few weeks, so this violet shampoo can make the time between visits last longer. ELLE, 17 May 2022 The flowers on the bird's food violet can be a solid purple or can have one petal much darker than the others. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, 14 May 2022 Then, just as quickly, to flop onto our backs and make shapes in the clouds or wonder at the first stars speckling the violet sky. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 13 May 2022 Effervescent notes of mandarin, pink pepper and violet leaves envelope you in a sweet, ultra-feminine haze. Katie Berohn, Good Housekeeping, 11 May 2022 Notes of Jamaican pimento berries and Bulgarian rose blend with Indonesian patchouli and Madagascan vanilla, topped off with the resinous violet of opoponax to create a delicious fragrance, both spicy and warm. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 May 2022 The soft violet hue varies from light to dark, which can make a thread of varied stones a stunning option for those born in February. Vogue, 10 May 2022 The Awoke Green Tea is spiked with butterfly pea flower, boosting the antioxidants while turning it a pretty violet color. Jeanne O'brien Coffey, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The colors range from blue-violet and magenta to pinks and whites and, of course, dark purples, some of which resemble the burgundy hues of red wine. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Play with color with paint by number kits for adults selected by our Reviews team.

Learn More About violet

Time Traveler for violet

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near violet

Viole Sordine


violet aphid

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for violet

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Violet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for violet


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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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