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.

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

    • ‘Colourful wild flowers sprung up by the roadside, purple violets and white daisies dotted among the grass.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were pools that dreamed black and unruffled, there were a few white lilies, crocuses and violets; purple or pale, snake-like frittilaries.’
    • ‘Edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, pansies, violets, and calendulas, are also good.’
    • ‘She was gorgeously dressed in a pale blue sleeveless gown with violets in her hair.’
    • ‘It was light blue with small violets and ivy embroidered on the bodice.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Spring flowers - celandines, primroses, violets, wood anemones - were followed by pyramid and early purple orchids, wild thyme and rockrose.’
    • ‘Nadia picked out violets, lilies and blue tulips at the florist, telling her father to meet her there.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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!’’
    • ‘Purple hyacinths and blue violets arranged together, the colors working together nicely.’
    • ‘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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2mass noun A bluish-purple colour seen at the end of the spectrum opposite red.

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


  • Of a bluish-purple colour.

    ‘her almost violet eyes were a bit startling’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Today, for example, she was dressed in a thinly ribbed, cream-colored turtleneck beneath a rather lumpy violet sweater knitted by her grandmother.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He had a mess of shaggy violet colored hair and violet eyes that shone with a mixture of childish curiosity and animal-like awareness.’
    • ‘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 wore contacts, that explained the violet orbs.’
    • ‘In the same case are several amethysts (the purple variety of quartz) of an amazingly rich violet color.’
    • ‘Flowers are crimson, sky blue, violet, and deep purple accented with a white pinwheel and picotee pattern.’
    • ‘According to Lilly, this pale violet star sharpens the understanding, memory, and makes men industrious.’
    • ‘Detectives remain convinced that the theft of the pensioner's distinctive violet car was inextricably linked to his death.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Its intense color is usually coupled with a violet flash at this locality.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By replacing yttrium ions with europium, the researchers could make garnets with a violet hue, while ytterbium, zirconium, and cerium produced green garnets.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her hair is satin black with deep violet streaks.’
    • ‘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 lay near my boot - a fleshy, violet organ the size of a Concord grape.’
    • ‘Bi-tones as their name suggests are two shades of one color, in this case, violet silk Standards and deep purple velvet Falls.’
    • ‘He left behind the violet shirt of Fiorentina for the challenge of winning the scudetto.’
    • ‘In Ricochet, he scatters an array of ellipses-with-trails in a multitude of colors over a plummy violet ground.’
    • ‘He smiled and stroked her beautiful violet hair.’
    • ‘It strikes the air like a pale violet lightening bolt.’
    • ‘Along with her brother, the young girl begins to go to high school in a violet colour skirt and half-sari uniform.’
    • ‘The wine has a dark violet color at its core, but turns a nice cherry red at its rim.’
    • ‘I guess I feel a little red, and ready to hide under a violet blanket.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The worst thing is the violet depiction of a car wreck on the cover of the cd.’
    • ‘The beautiful heavy fabric reflected the light like water and the deep violet shade suited her newly brunette coloring perfectly.’
    • ‘The deep and dark violet lower lips appear to be black at first sight.’
    • ‘The frequency of the vibrations increases from the red to the violet end of the spectrum, thus determining the perceived color of the light.’
    • ‘When illuminated with violet light, the tumour emits pink fluorescence that is detected by a highly sensitive camera.’
    • ‘Some of the calcifuges also tended to have a slightly violet colour, which could be a sign of P deficiency.’
    • ‘His scales were a dark violet color; they shone brilliantly in the firelight.’
    • ‘Chemicals diffuse through this membrane, react inside the cavity, and then diffuse out, creating swirling clouds of violet liquid in the green base solution.’
    • ‘It was colored turquoise with sharp, violet wings and small limbs with sharp claws that bore the same hue as its wings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For amethyst, violet or gray color contacts, lavender shadows work great.’
    • ‘She handed him her prize, a square of folded cloth the deep violet color of the Jhannon crest.’
    • ‘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.’


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