Definition of ilex in US English:



  • 1

    another term for holm oak
    • ‘In 1998 the Council of State agreed to the demolition of the ‘Monster of Vietri’, a hotel built by pulverizing an ilex wood and the shoreline on the Amalfi coast.’
    • ‘Set beneath the canopy of a large ilex, Campo Baeza's building is composed of two parts: an ethereal superstructure and a horizontal concrete platform.’
    • ‘Then later on, with perhaps ten miles behind you, Paco and Pajarito will be there beneath the ilex trees with a couple of large cold boxes.’
    • ‘It has cypress and ilex and olive trees to set in picturesque contrast against the bleached earth.’
    • ‘It is made from the dried, pulverized bodies of a scale insect, Coccus ilicis, which is a parasite on an ilex oak, the kermes oak.’
  • 2A tree or shrub of a genus that includes holly and its relatives.

    Genus Ilex, family Aquifoliaceae

    • ‘Then add a single tall stem of red ilex berries for the final touch.’
    • ‘Areas of granite and sandstone became colonized by maquis, a low, dense cover of ilex, briars, broom, tree heathers, and laurels.’
    • ‘They walked together in Maximus's garden, down white colonnades, around marble ponds fringed with mosaic, through a complex of rose-beds, past ornamental balconies and sculptured ilexes.’
    • ‘Increasing numbers of walkers are attracted by the network of well-marked footpaths on the Portofino promontory to the west - a wild, rocky place bristling with myrtle, gorse, hawthorn and ilex.’
    • ‘Behind the high walls, hidden by a long screen of ilexes, you are suddenly back in the eighteenth century, surrounded by the obelisks and mausolea of sea captains and corsairs, exiled aristocrats and shipwrecked plantation owners.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘holm oak’.