noun Etymology: obsolete French (now lilas), from Arabic līlak, from Persian nīlak bluish, from nīl blue, from Sanskrit nīla dark blue Date: 1625 1. a. a widely cultivated European shrub (Syringa vulgaris) of the olive family that has cordate ovate leaves and large panicles of fragrant pinkish-purple or white flowers b. a tree or shrub congeneric with the lilac 2. a variable color averaging a moderate purple

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • Lilac — Li lac (l[imac] lak), n. [Also {lilach}.] [Sp. lilac, lila, Ar. l[=i]lak, fr. Per. l[=i]laj, l[=i]lanj, l[=i]lang, n[=i]laj, n[=i]l, the indigo plant, or from the kindred l[=i]lak bluish, the flowers being named from the color. Cf. {Anil}.] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lilac — (del fr. «lilac») f. Lila o lilo. * * * lilac. (Del fr. lilac, este del ár. līlak, este del persa lila[n]ǧ o lilang, y este del sánscr. nîla, azul oscuro). f. lila (ǁ arbusto oleáceo) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • lilac — (n.) 1620s, from Fr. lilac shrub of genus Syringa with mauve flowers, from Sp. lilac, from Arabic lilak, from Pers. lilak, variant of nilak bluish, from nil indigo (Cf. Skt. nilah dark blue ), of uncertain origin. As a color name, attested from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • lilac — (Del fr. lilac, este del ár. līlak, este del persa lila[n]ǧ o lilang, y este del sánscr. nîla, azul oscuro). f. lila (ǁ arbusto oleáceo) …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Lilac — Lilac, der türkische Hollunder (Syringa); daher Lilacin, von Meillet aus den Blättern u. Blattknospen der Syringa vulgaris dargestellter Stoff, krystallisirt in Büscheln seiner Nadeln, od. in vierseitigen Prismen, löst sich in Essigsäure u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Lilac — f English: a modern adoption of the vocabulary word denoting the shrub with large sprays of heavily scented purple or white flowers. The word is from French, which derived it via Spanish from Arabic līlak, from Persian nīlak bluish, a derivative… …   First names dictionary

  • lilac — ► NOUN 1) a shrub or small tree with fragrant violet, pink, or white blossom. 2) a pale pinkish violet colour. ORIGIN from Persian, bluish …   English terms dictionary

  • lilac — [lī′lək, lī′läk΄, lī′lak΄] n. [Fr (now lilas) < Ar līlak < Pers līlak, nīlak, bluish < nīl, indigo < Sans nila, dark blue, indigo] 1. any of a genus (Syringa) of hardy shrubs or trees of the olive family, with large clusters of tiny,… …   English World dictionary

  • lilac — /luy leuhk, lahk, lak/, n. 1. any of various shrubs belonging to the genus Syringa, of the olive family, as S. vulgaris, having large clusters of fragrant purple or white flowers: the state flower of New Hampshire. 2. pale reddish purple. adj. 3 …   Universalium

  • lilac — [[t]la͟ɪlək[/t]] lilacs (lilac can also be used as the plural form.) 1) N VAR A lilac or a lilac tree is a small tree which has sweet smelling purple, pink, or white flowers in large, cone shaped groups. Lilacs grew against the side wall. ...a… …   English dictionary

  • lilac — [17] Like the river Nile, the lilac gets its name from its colour. The Sanskrit word for ‘dark blue’ was nīla. This passed into Persian as nīl, from which was derived nīlak ‘bluish’. This developed a variant līlak, which English acquired via… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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