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[fawr-sith-ee-uh, -sahy-thee-uh, fer-] /fɔrˈsɪθ i ə, -ˈsaɪ θi ə, fər-/
a shrub belonging to the genus Forsythia, of the olive family, native to China and southeastern Europe, species of which are cultivated for their showy yellow flowers, which blossom on the bare branches in early spring.
< New Latin, after William Forsyth (1737-1804), English horticulturist; see -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for forsythia
  • The forsythia and honeysuckle in the wooden boxes at either end are showing signs of spring.
  • Take the forsythia, a shrub that greeted us last spring with a burst of bright yellow flowers.
  • The willows are turning green, the forsythia yellow.
  • forsythia bushes are beginning to show promising, yellow signs of life throughout the neighborhood.
British Dictionary definitions for forsythia


any oleaceous shrub of the genus Forsythia, native to China, Japan, and SE Europe but widely cultivated for its showy yellow bell-shaped flowers, which appear in spring before the foliage
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, named after William Forsyth (1737–1804), English botanist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for forsythia

1814, coined 1805 in Modern Latin as a genus name in honor of William Forsyth (1737-1804), Scottish horticulturalist who brought the shrub from China. The family name is from Gaelic Fearsithe "man of peace."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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