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[as-fuh-del] /ˈæs fəˌdɛl/
any of various southern European plants of the genera Asphodelus and Asphodeline, of the lily family, having white, pink, or yellow flowers in elongated clusters.
any of various other plants, as the daffodil.
Origin of asphodel
1590-1600; < Latin asphodelus < Greek asphódelos the asphodel. See daffodil Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for asphodel
Historical Examples
  • His favourite plants were the vine, ivy, laurel, and asphodel.

  • "That pinkish flower over there must be asphodel," said Uncle Jim.

    Irma in Italy Helen Leah Reed
  • The poets, probably taking their cue from this, have celebrated the asphodel in song as the flower of the immortals.

    A Garden with House Attached Sarah Warner Brooks
  • At his elbow is a great un-English, unwintry nosegay of asphodel and iris.

    Alas! Rhoda Broughton
  • He was roused from his troubled thoughts by seeing Miss asphodel Vincent coming along the walk towards him.

    A Book of Ghosts Sabine Baring-Gould
  • Crown us with asphodel flowers, that are wet with the dews of nepenthe.

  • You walked as if you were treading on asphodel, and you carried your head as if you'd bought the whole world.

    The Woman's Way Charles Garvice
  • Unsurfeiting happiness be his portion in the meads of asphodel!

    Romantic Spain John Augustus O'Shea
  • The hot wind of the desert has passed over it, and the spring beauty of iris and orchid, asphodel and marigold, has vanished.

    Parables of the Christ-life I. Lilias Trotter
  • The asphodel was a favourite plant among the ancients, who were in the habit of planting it round their tombs.

British Dictionary definitions for asphodel


any of various S European liliaceous plants of the genera Asphodelus and Asphodeline, having clusters of white or yellow flowers Compare bog asphodel
any of various other plants, such as the daffodil
an unidentified flower of Greek legend, probably a narcissus, said to cover the Elysian fields
Word Origin
C16: from Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos, of obscure origin
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 asphodel

late 14c., from Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos "asphodel, king's spear," of unknown origin (see daffodil). Taken in poetic use for a mythical deathless flower that overspreads the Elysian meadows.

To embathe In nectared lavers strewed with asphodel. [Milton, "Comus," 1634]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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