Definition of violet in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nadia picked out violets, lilies and blue tulips at the florist, telling her father to meet her there.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were pools that dreamed black and unruffled, there were a few white lilies, crocuses and violets; purple or pale, snake-like frittilaries.’
    • ‘It was light blue with small violets and ivy embroidered on the bodice.’
    • ‘Gather early summer flowers like violets, yarrow and red clover to dry for teas and for tincturing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, pansies, violets, and calendulas, are also good.’
    • ‘Last but not least, it was in 1971 when New Jersey finally adopted the purple violet, Viola sororia, as their official state flower.’
    • ‘Gain inspiration from the poems you remember from childhood, like ‘roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you!’’
    • ‘He gave her a slim gold band that once belonged to his mother, and she gave him violets, her favorite flower.’
    • ‘She was gorgeously dressed in a pale blue sleeveless gown with violets in her hair.’
    • ‘Plant mitsuba with other herbs of similar culture such as sweet cicely, chervil, bee balm, lamium, lungwort, violets, and woodland strawberries.’
    • ‘Purple hyacinths and blue violets arranged together, the colors working together nicely.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Spring flowers - celandines, primroses, violets, wood anemones - were followed by pyramid and early purple orchids, wild thyme and rockrose.’
    • ‘Wildflowers: fire pink, several kinds of blue violets, pink and yellow lady's slippers, goldenrod, blue-stem goldenrod, blue asters, and bedstraws.’
    • ‘In most languages, violet is called blue: ‘roses are red, violets are blue’.’
    • ‘Colourful wild flowers sprung up by the roadside, purple violets and white daisies dotted among the grass.’
    1. 1.1Used in names of similar-flowered plants of other families, e.g. African violet.
      • ‘Bird's-Foot (V. pedata) violets are similar to Confederate violets in that they have no runners.’
      • ‘You may put your African violet on a self-watering system to ensure a constant, optimum level of moisture.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2[mass noun] A bluish-purple colour seen at the end of the spectrum opposite red.

    ‘a beautiful blue with a tinge of violet’
    • ‘He was splendidly dressed in the royal scarlet and bluish violet.’
    • ‘Tiny beads were colored in the most vibrant hues of violet and the entire light show was mesmerizing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now, it was not a bluish sort of violet, but pure, clear purple.’
    • ‘Cardinals will dress in violet, as a sign of mourning, rather than their habitual red, until the Pope's burial.’
    • ‘Rubidium and cesium flames are reddish violet or magenta.’
    • ‘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 dressed in the finest of silks, violet in colour, with a dark cape billowing over his shoulders.’
    • ‘Except for one large canvas dependent on scrabbled zones of shockingly clear violet, most of the paintings are a little murky.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Celadon green and light violet are gorgeous together, says Delaney.’
    • ‘Roses may be red, but violets are indeed violet.’
    • ‘The rocks are characterized by a marked foliation and a colour varying from green-grey to violet.’
    • ‘The flowers appear in shades of blue, purple, violet and white.’
    • ‘They sway slightly with the breeze and range in hue from cinnamon to dusty violet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the rainbow, raindrops do the sifting systematically; each band is part of a progression through the visible spectrum, from red to violet.’


  • Of a bluish-purple colour.

    ‘her almost violet eyes were a bit startling’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Detectives remain convinced that the theft of the pensioner's distinctive violet car was inextricably linked to his death.’
    • ‘The deep and dark violet lower lips appear to be black at first sight.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When illuminated with violet light, the tumour emits pink fluorescence that is detected by a highly sensitive camera.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Chemicals diffuse through this membrane, react inside the cavity, and then diffuse out, creating swirling clouds of violet liquid in the green base solution.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her hair is satin black with deep violet streaks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some of the calcifuges also tended to have a slightly violet colour, which could be a sign of P deficiency.’
    • ‘Today, for example, she was dressed in a thinly ribbed, cream-colored turtleneck beneath a rather lumpy violet sweater knitted by her grandmother.’
    • ‘He left behind the violet shirt of Fiorentina for the challenge of winning the scudetto.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Along with her brother, the young girl begins to go to high school in a violet colour skirt and half-sari uniform.’
    • ‘By replacing yttrium ions with europium, the researchers could make garnets with a violet hue, while ytterbium, zirconium, and cerium produced green garnets.’
    • ‘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.’


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