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[hahy-uh-sinth] /ˈhaɪ ə sɪnθ/
a bulbous plant, Hyacinthus orientalis, of the lily family, widely cultivated for its cylindrical cluster of fragrant flowers in a variety of colors.
any of various similar or related plants, as the grape hyacinth or the water hyacinth.
a plant fabled to have sprung from the blood of Hyacinthus and variously identified as iris, gladiolus, larkspur, etc.
Mineralogy. a reddish-orange zircon.
a gem of the ancients, held to be the amethyst or sapphire.
Also called jacinth for defs 3–5.
Origin of hyacinth
1545-55; < Latin hyacinthus < Greek hyákinthos blue larkspur, also a gem of blue color; cf. jacinth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hyacinth
  • Caiman continues to house scientific teams, and guests can participate in jaguar and hyacinth macaw research projects.
  • hyacinth bean is an important food, forage, and medicinal plant.
  • hyacinth systems can be used to advantage in correcting algal bloom problems in oxidation ponds.
British Dictionary definitions for hyacinth


any liliaceous plant of the Mediterranean genus Hyacinthus, esp any cultivated variety of H. orientalis, having a thick flower stalk bearing white, blue, or pink fragrant flowers
the flower or bulb of such a plant
any similar or related plant, such as the grape hyacinth
Also called jacinth. a red or reddish-brown transparent variety of the mineral zircon, used as a gemstone
(Greek myth) a flower which sprang from the blood of the dead Hyacinthus
  1. any of the varying colours of the hyacinth flower or stone
  2. (as modifier): hyacinth eyes
Derived Forms
hyacinthine (ˌhaɪəˈsɪnθaɪn) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin hyacinthus, from Greek huakinthos
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 hyacinth

1550s, "the plant hyacinth;" re-Greeked from earlier jacinth (late 14c.) "hyacinth; blue cornflower," earlier a precious stone blue (rarely red) in color (c.1200), from Old French jacinte and Medieval Latin jacintus, ultimately from Greek hyakinthos, probably ultimately from a non-Indo-European Mediterranean language. Used in ancient Greece of a blue gem, perhaps sapphire, and of a purple or deep red flower, but exactly which one is unknown (gladiolus, iris, and larkspur have been suggested). Fabled to have sprouted from the blood of Hyakinthos, youth beloved by Apollo and accidentally slain by him. The flower is said to have the letters "AI" or "AIAI" on its petals. The modern use in reference to a particular flowering plant genus is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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