Definition of violet in US English:



  • 1A herbaceous plant of temperate regions, typically having purple, blue, or white five-petaled flowers, one of which forms a landing pad for pollinating insects.

    Genus Viola, family Violaceae (the violet family): many species, including the dog violet and sweet violet. See also viola

    • ‘The play ends with the beautiful songs of the cuckoo and the owl, ‘When daisies pied and violets blue’ and ‘When icicles hang by the wall’.’
    • ‘Spring flowers - celandines, primroses, violets, wood anemones - were followed by pyramid and early purple orchids, wild thyme and rockrose.’
    • ‘She was gorgeously dressed in a pale blue sleeveless gown with violets in her hair.’
    • ‘A violet is blue because its molecular texture enables it to quench the green, yellow, and red constituents of white light, and to allow the blue free transmission.’
    • ‘Edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, pansies, violets, and calendulas, are also good.’
    • ‘Wildflowers: fire pink, several kinds of blue violets, pink and yellow lady's slippers, goldenrod, blue-stem goldenrod, blue asters, and bedstraws.’
    • ‘Colourful wild flowers sprung up by the roadside, purple violets and white daisies dotted among the grass.’
    • ‘There were pools that dreamed black and unruffled, there were a few white lilies, crocuses and violets; purple or pale, snake-like frittilaries.’
    • ‘Nadia picked out violets, lilies and blue tulips at the florist, telling her father to meet her there.’
    • ‘Purple hyacinths and blue violets arranged together, the colors working together nicely.’
    • ‘Last but not least, it was in 1971 when New Jersey finally adopted the purple violet, Viola sororia, as their official state flower.’
    • ‘Plant mitsuba with other herbs of similar culture such as sweet cicely, chervil, bee balm, lamium, lungwort, violets, and woodland strawberries.’
    • ‘Gather early summer flowers like violets, yarrow and red clover to dry for teas and for tincturing.’
    • ‘Gain inspiration from the poems you remember from childhood, like ‘roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you!’’
    • ‘The very first thing my best friends did was buy me a bouquet of white roses and violets, my favorite combination, from the florist shop near the mall entrance.’
    • ‘Sometimes we were led off on long walks over the hills by eager adults who pointed out to us the bog violets and flashes of white heather among the purple.’
    • ‘In most languages, violet is called blue: ‘roses are red, violets are blue’.’
    • ‘It was light blue with small violets and ivy embroidered on the bodice.’
    • ‘He gave her a slim gold band that once belonged to his mother, and she gave him violets, her favorite flower.’
    • ‘Two young women clad in the red robes of Rennon's priestesses carried forth armfuls of flowers, violets and daisies mostly, and cast them into the fire.’
    1. 1.1 Used in names of similar-flowered plants of other families, e.g. African violet.
      • ‘Erythronium dens-canis is the true dog's tooth violet, the name comes from the shape of the corm, and has rose coloured flowers on 10 cm stems and purple marked leaves.’
      • ‘You may put your African violet on a self-watering system to ensure a constant, optimum level of moisture.’
      • ‘Bird's-Foot (V. pedata) violets are similar to Confederate violets in that they have no runners.’
  • 2A bluish-purple color seen at the end of the spectrum opposite red.

    • ‘In the rainbow, raindrops do the sifting systematically; each band is part of a progression through the visible spectrum, from red to violet.’
    • ‘Except for one large canvas dependent on scrabbled zones of shockingly clear violet, most of the paintings are a little murky.’
    • ‘Roses may be red, but violets are indeed violet.’
    • ‘They sway slightly with the breeze and range in hue from cinnamon to dusty violet.’
    • ‘Celadon green and light violet are gorgeous together, says Delaney.’
    • ‘He was dressed in the finest of silks, violet in colour, with a dark cape billowing over his shoulders.’
    • ‘Cardinals will dress in violet, as a sign of mourning, rather than their habitual red, until the Pope's burial.’
    • ‘Tiny beads were colored in the most vibrant hues of violet and the entire light show was mesmerizing.’
    • ‘When sunset came 40 minutes into the flight - the first of four for me that day - it shone with all the colours of the spectrum, from red and orange to indigo and violet.’
    • ‘Now, it was not a bluish sort of violet, but pure, clear purple.’
    • ‘Rubidium and cesium flames are reddish violet or magenta.’
    • ‘Jason's face turned an awesome shade of violet, almost like the large earrings I had chosen to wear today, and he emitted a low, pained groan.’
    • ‘Choosing a darker hue, such as violet, I began by drawing three squares.’
    • ‘These wavelengths correspond to colors in the visible spectrum ranging from violet to blue to green to yellow to orange, and then red.’
    • ‘While copper beech has a reddish tinge, the leaves of Riversii have a rich depth of colour best described as bitter chocolate tinged with deep violet.’
    • ‘What works well here is this elegant but often overlooked cru from Beaujolais, strikingly violet in colour with a deep rich nose and a meaty wash of intense cherry and plum skin.’
    • ‘He was splendidly dressed in the royal scarlet and bluish violet.’
    • ‘The flowers appear in shades of blue, purple, violet and white.’
    • ‘Described as ‘feisty’ and partial to a feast of rotting vegetables, baby Great Land Crabs are often tan in colour, turning a deep shade of violet as they mature.’
    • ‘The rocks are characterized by a marked foliation and a colour varying from green-grey to violet.’


  • Of a purplish-blue color.

    • ‘Flowers are crimson, sky blue, violet, and deep purple accented with a white pinwheel and picotee pattern.’
    • ‘The disc above fizzled with violet light for a moment then collapsed down onto all present, sending a severe backlash of magical power into the priest's mind.’
    • ‘The worst thing is the violet depiction of a car wreck on the cover of the cd.’
    • ‘He left behind the violet shirt of Fiorentina for the challenge of winning the scudetto.’
    • ‘It strikes the air like a pale violet lightening bolt.’
    • ‘According to Lilly, this pale violet star sharpens the understanding, memory, and makes men industrious.’
    • ‘His scales were a dark violet color; they shone brilliantly in the firelight.’
    • ‘Some of the calcifuges also tended to have a slightly violet colour, which could be a sign of P deficiency.’
    • ‘When illuminated with violet light, the tumour emits pink fluorescence that is detected by a highly sensitive camera.’
    • ‘Their faces were white; the only signs of color on them were the violet blotches on their foreheads and the blood from the wounds on the backs of their skulls.’
    • ‘It was colored turquoise with sharp, violet wings and small limbs with sharp claws that bore the same hue as its wings.’
    • ‘It is made from dark violet berries about the size of a raspberry; a deep, dense colour that seems weighted down by its nutritional secrets.’
    • ‘In the same case are several amethysts (the purple variety of quartz) of an amazingly rich violet color.’
    • ‘She handed him her prize, a square of folded cloth the deep violet color of the Jhannon crest.’
    • ‘Detectives remain convinced that the theft of the pensioner's distinctive violet car was inextricably linked to his death.’
    • ‘I find placing a violet aura around my body (for added protection a silver reflective layer on top) keeps me absolutely safe form the fiercest guardian.’
    • ‘The wine has a dark violet color at its core, but turns a nice cherry red at its rim.’
    • ‘One of the best known is puto bumbong, made of the violet rice called pirurutong, steamed in a bamboo tube and eaten with grated coconut and brown sugar.’
    • ‘For amethyst, violet or gray color contacts, lavender shadows work great.’
    • ‘He smiled and stroked her beautiful violet hair.’
    • ‘Bi-tones as their name suggests are two shades of one color, in this case, violet silk Standards and deep purple velvet Falls.’
    • ‘In Ricochet, he scatters an array of ellipses-with-trails in a multitude of colors over a plummy violet ground.’
    • ‘By replacing yttrium ions with europium, the researchers could make garnets with a violet hue, while ytterbium, zirconium, and cerium produced green garnets.’
    • ‘Its intense color is usually coupled with a violet flash at this locality.’
    • ‘Chemicals diffuse through this membrane, react inside the cavity, and then diffuse out, creating swirling clouds of violet liquid in the green base solution.’
    • ‘The beautiful heavy fabric reflected the light like water and the deep violet shade suited her newly brunette coloring perfectly.’
    • ‘The only things that gave off color were the violet flowers in the vases, the several tables placed throughout the room, the fireplace, and of course the floor.’
    • ‘He spent nothing on himself or on luxuries, and cared little about his appearance, always wearing a dated, crumpled, violet suit, frilled cuffs and a three cornered hat.’
    • ‘She tried to hand him a glass of water, but he shook his head, instead motioning to a tall violet bottle standing in the middle of a dozen other medicines on his bedside table.’
    • ‘Along with her brother, the young girl begins to go to high school in a violet colour skirt and half-sari uniform.’
    • ‘He had a mess of shaggy violet colored hair and violet eyes that shone with a mixture of childish curiosity and animal-like awareness.’
    • ‘A white dove and a green olive branch adorned the violet silk banner hoisted by the Worthing and Lancing branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.’
    • ‘The frequency of the vibrations increases from the red to the violet end of the spectrum, thus determining the perceived color of the light.’
    • ‘I never managed to get a copy of the book with the violet cover, though on one visit to the Soviet Union I did manage to find a collection of Nezhmetdinov's best games.’
    • ‘Today, for example, she was dressed in a thinly ribbed, cream-colored turtleneck beneath a rather lumpy violet sweater knitted by her grandmother.’
    • ‘Her hair is satin black with deep violet streaks.’
    • ‘It lay near my boot - a fleshy, violet organ the size of a Concord grape.’
    • ‘She wore contacts, that explained the violet orbs.’
    • ‘The deep and dark violet lower lips appear to be black at first sight.’
    • ‘I guess I feel a little red, and ready to hide under a violet blanket.’


Middle English: from Old French violette, diminutive of viole, from Latin viola ‘violet’.