Definition of lilac in English:

lilac

noun

  • 1A Eurasian shrub or small tree of the olive family, which has fragrant violet, pink, or white blossom and is a popular garden ornamental.

    • ‘The assortment was beautiful filled with tulips, lilies, lilacs and pink roses, her favourite coloured rose.’
    • ‘It also affects trees, such as lilacs, hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and red and Scotch pines, as well as many others.’
    • ‘Other flowers can be dipped in light batter and fried, to make delicate sweet fritters: elderflowers, apple blossom, acacia flowers, and lilacs can be used in this manner.’
    • ‘In March and April alone, daphne, forsythia, camellias, Japanese quince and lilacs continue in bloom.’
    • ‘Under my skin my veins pule so hard, so much blood forced through them all at once, I wait to see them move, widen then shrink back down to thin strings of lilacs or purple tulips.’
    • ‘They come for the butterfly weed, lilacs, echinacea and anise hyssop, and especially for the white, lavender and pink butterfly bushes.’
    • ‘Since then it has been found mainly in rhododendrons and viburnums, pieris, camellias, lilacs and other plants which have been imported or sat alongside imports.’
    • ‘She caught a whiff of perfumed fragrance as she passed a row of purple lilacs, and white jasmines.’
    • ‘There were lilies and foxgloves, roses and lilacs, and some sort of fruit tree that bore square-shaped green fruit.’
    • ‘If you are serious about lilacs, Lilacs: The Genus Syringa, is the one book that belongs on your bookshelf.’
    • ‘The aromas of tulips, roses and lilacs filled his nostrils.’
    • ‘There were some Siberian elms, lilacs and maples also.’
    • ‘There were roses, lilacs, violets, lilies of the valley, impatiens, irises, and so many more.’
    • ‘A very popular flowering shrub, lilacs serve many purposes in gardens.’
    • ‘Hydrangeas are to summer as lilacs are to spring.’
    • ‘In addition there was a parterre of plants chosen for their scent: myrtles, jasmine, roses and lilacs, which were replaced when they began to fade.’
    • ‘Roger says he's used willow water for years to root azaleas, lilacs, summersweets and even roses.’
    • ‘The sweet smell of lilies, roses, lilacs, buttercups, violets, and many other flowers Rodom could not even recognize.’
    • ‘The woods were thick with new leaves and fragrant with honeysuckle and lilacs.’
    • ‘He was standing in the center of a beautiful garden boasting blooming lilacs and tulips lost in a tangle of exotic plants, fruits and vegetables.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun]A pale pinkish-violet colour.
      [as modifier] ‘a lilac cardigan’
      • ‘Natural colours - pebble, mushroom and lilac - soften the industrial core and contrast well with the metal staircase that links the gallery floors.’
      • ‘After a six-month absence, the come-hither tulips are extremely tempting in their lilacs, scarlets, apricots and girly pinks.’
      • ‘Several clouds had blanketed themselves out across the hills and mountains in the distance, dark lilac over darker purple.’
      • ‘Violent lilacs, shocking pinks and hot crimson, matching the steamy temperature, mingled with more sombre beige and cream, as the ladies rose to the fashion challenge.’
      • ‘Upstairs the master bedroom with exposed stone walls on two sides has been stylishly decorated in lilac with off-white carpeting.’
      • ‘Long strips of colour zigzag across the landscape like a patchwork quilt, reds and yellows mingling with purples, pinks and lilacs.’
      • ‘I get the feeling that yellow and lilac are your favourite colours.’
      • ‘His bungalow in London's Blackheath - home to wife Jackie and daughters Cecile and Hermione - is decorated in his favourite colour: lilac.’
      • ‘With lovely chiffon dresses in colours like lime, lilac, rose, and lemon yellow you can indulge yourself.’
      • ‘It's coloured in Stella's preferred palate: gun-metal greys fading into muted violets and lilacs; lurid cerises and delicate eau de nil.’
      • ‘Some are white, many in hues of lavender and lilac, pale mauves and deep purples, and a host of other colors.’
      • ‘His eyes were pale lilac, coloured contacts she mused, and they seemed to sparkle in the light like jewels.’
      • ‘Fresh and fruity colours abound: pink, turquoise, lime green, yellow, rose and lilac are complemented with soft tones of white and beige, and very pale pastels.’
      • ‘Soft colours such as lilac, rosy pink, light green and silver create a light-hearted effect.’
      • ‘Colours range from the ever-popular blues to pretty pinks, lilacs and fresh whites.’
      • ‘Love letters would be in some flowery font like, ah, I dunno one of the script ones and it'd be in pretty pastel shades of pinks and lilacs.’
      • ‘The queen's bedchamber sits daintily festooned with floral pinks and lilacs in a combination with gold, overlooking the south parterre.’
      • ‘Upstairs, Karen's bedroom, decorated with shades of her favourite colour lilac, remains exactly as she left it.’
      • ‘With harmless colours like a mild metallic lilac and beige, it looks more like a feminine home appliance than traditional home office equipment.’
      • ‘During anthesis, petals gradually lose their colour, becoming completely white or pale lilac by the end of anthesis.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from obsolete French, via Spanish and Arabic from Persian līlak, variant of nīlak bluish, from nīl blue.

Pronunciation:

lilac

/ˈlʌɪlək/