Definition of veronica in English:



  • 1A herbaceous plant of north temperate regions, typically with upright stems bearing narrow pointed leaves and spikes of blue or purple flowers.

    Genus Veronica, family Scrophulariaceae: many species, including the speedwells

    • ‘On the inside of the curve, I wove in irregular lines of flowers like Verbena ‘Purple Homestead,’ aster and veronica.’
    • ‘The 7-inch, dark blue spikes of this veronica bob atop a plant that grows low enough that you can actually place it at the front of the border.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, established perennials like phlox, veronica, and yarrow are beginning to bloom.’
  • 2A cloth supposedly impressed with an image of Christ's face.

    • ‘The veronica represents Christ's face and, by synecdoche, his entire body.’
  • 3The movement of a matador's cape away from a charging bull.


Early 16th century: from medieval Latin, from the given name Veronica. veronica (sense 2, are with reference to St Veronica (see Veronica, St); sense 3 is said to be by association of the attitude of the matador with the depiction of St Veronica holding out a cloth to Christ.