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[uh-zeyl-yuh] /əˈzeɪl yə/
any of numerous shrubs belonging to a particular group (Azalea) of the genus Rhododendron, of the heath family, comprising species with handsome flower clusters of various colors, some of which are familiar in cultivation: the group was formerly the botanical genus Azalea but is now a horticultural classification.
Origin of azalea
1750-60; < New Latin < Greek azaléa, noun use of feminine of azaléos dry; so named because it grows in dry soil Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for azalea
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had eaten nothing since the day before, only sipping the coffee azalea had brought her.

    The Mountain Girl Payne Erskine
  • I looked in my memorandum book for the address of azalea Adair.

  • When the milk and wine had been brought the doctor soon revived azalea Adair.

  • azalea Adair breathed a soft apology and went to investigate the sound.

  • Just a week or two ago the dominant odor among these was the sticky sweetness of the azalea.

    Old Plymouth Trails Winthrop Packard
British Dictionary definitions for azalea


any ericaceous plant of the group Azalea, formerly a separate genus but now included in the genus Rhododendron: cultivated for their showy pink or purple flowers
Word Origin
C18: via New Latin from Greek, from azaleos dry; from its supposed preference for a dry situation
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 azalea

1753, coined by Linnaeus from the fem. of Greek azaleos "dry," related to azein "to dry up" (see ash (n.1)). The plant thrives in sandy soil.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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