Definition of hyacinth in US English:



  • 1A bulbous plant of the lily family, with straplike leaves and a compact spike of bell-shaped fragrant flowers. Native to western Asia, hyacinths are cultivated outdoors and as houseplants.

    Genus Hyacinthus, family Liliaceae: several species, in particular H. orientalis, from which the common large-flowered cultivars are derived

    • ‘Combine the pleasures of both with holiday red amaryllis and pristine white tulips and fragrant hyacinths.’
    • ‘Plant out bowls of hyacinths and daffodils that have finished flowering in the house, before they dry out.’
    • ‘It was a work of art, four feet in diameter comprised of orchids, lilies of the valley, hyacinths, arum lilies and white carnations.’
    • ‘Daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and other popular spring bulb flowers are also widely available now.’
    • ‘Crocuses, daffodils, other narcissi, tulips, and hyacinths are just where the choices begin.’
    • ‘For example, early-flowering hyacinths offer a heady and fragrant choice for planting in containers along walkways and at entrances.’
    • ‘You can start entirely new plants from pieces of daylilies, tulips, hyacinths, and other beauties for next to nothing.’
    • ‘The specially treated multiflora hyacinths are also beautiful when naturalized and can provide long-lasting color.’
    • ‘The miracle of spring flowers such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and lilies is even more astounding when one realizes how they reach the bloom stage each year.’
    • ‘Later blooming hyacinths and tulips can be planted anytime before the ground freezes.’
    • ‘Indoor gardeners, by and large, prefer their hyacinths full-blossomed and deliciously fragrant.’
    • ‘Spring brings more than half a million blooming bulbs, including daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips.’
    • ‘Fall is the season to plant trees, turf grasses and spring-blooming flower bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses.’
    • ‘Fall is the time to plant the tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that bloom in the spring.’
    • ‘Spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils, and irises are universal symbols of spring.’
    • ‘Remember that some bulbs such as tulips and hyacinths do not always come back strongly in subsequent years.’
    • ‘While daffodils and hyacinths have their fans, tulips are, by far, the most popular flower.’
    • ‘In Europe, winter holiday parties are resplendent with fragrant hyacinths.’
    • ‘It is the season to plant flowering bulbs such as tulips, narcissi, crocuses and hyacinths.’
    • ‘Other fun bulbs for easy forcing include colorful hyacinths, crocuses and narcissi.’
    1. 1.1 A light purplish-blue color typical of some hyacinth flowers.
      as modifier ‘the Queen Mother was wearing hyacinth blue’
      • ‘Colour is inspired by spring flowers - daffodil yellow, light green, lilac and hyacinth blues or blossom pinks.’
      • ‘Given over entirely to a celebration of painting, it is more or less bisected at a diagonal of golden russet dappling on a field of hyacinth blue, and suffused with ambient light.’
  • 2

    another term for jacinth
    • ‘Tin, amethyst, the sapphire, the smarage or emerald, hyacinth, topaz, crystal, bezoar, marble, and that which in England we call freestone.’
    • ‘Lighter colored crystals have been referred to as hyacinth or jacinth stones.’


Mid 16th century (denoting a gem): from French hyacinthe, via Latin from Greek huakinthos, denoting a plant identified with the flower in the myth of Hyacinthus, and a gem (perhaps the sapphire). The current sense dates from the late 16th century.