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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.
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 azaleas
  • She figured her plants, including her beloved fruit trees and azaleas, were a total loss.
  • If the azaleas are not in bloom or you can't make the trip, you can see a sampling of the azaleas in this gallery.
  • On rhododendrons the flower parts may be involved but on azaleas it is chiefly leaf tissue.
  • In the spring, azaleas, rhododendron and other flowers are in bloom all over the mountain.
  • The hints of their work bloom every spring with flowering daffodils, azaleas and rhododendrons.
British Dictionary definitions for azaleas


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
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Word Origin and History for azaleas



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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