columbine

columbine

1 [kol-uhm-bahyn]
noun
1.
a plant, Aquilegia caerula, of the buttercup family, having showy flowers with white petals and white to blue sepals that form long, backward spurs: the state flower of Colorado.
2.
any of various other plants of the genus Aquilegia, characterized by divided leaves and showy flowers of various colors.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English < Medieval Latin columbīna (herba) dovelike (plant), feminine of Latin columbīnus (see columbine2); the inverted flower looks like a group of doves

Dictionary.com Unabridged

columbine

2 [kol-uhm-bahyn, -bin]
adjective
1.
of a dove.
2.
dovelike; dove-colored.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin columbīnus, equivalent to columb(a) dove + -īnus -ine1

Columbine

[kol-uhm-bahyn]
noun
1.
a female character in commedia dell'arte and pantomime: sweetheart of Harlequin.
2.
a female given name.

Origin:
1720–30; < Italian Columbina literally, dovelike girl; see columbine2

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
columbine1 (ˈkɒləmˌbaɪn)
 
n
Also called: aquilegia any plant of the ranunculaceous genus Aquilegia, having purple, blue, yellow, or red flowers with five spurred petals
 
[C13: from Medieval Latin columbīna herba dovelike plant, from Latin columbīnus dovelike, from the resemblance of the flower to a group of doves]

columbine2 (ˈkɒləmˌbaɪn)
 
adj
of, relating to, or resembling a dove
 
[C14: from Old French colombin, from Latin columbīnus dovelike, from columba dove]

Columbine (ˈkɒləmˌbaɪn)
 
n
1.  (originally) the character of a servant girl in commedia dell'arte
2.  (later) the sweetheart of Harlequin in English pantomime

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

columbine
c.1310, from M.L. columbina, from L.L. columbina "verbena," fem. of L. columbinus "dovelike," from columba "dove." The inverted flower supposedly resembles a cluster of five doves. In It. Comedy, the name of the mistress of Harlequin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

columbine

stock theatrical character that originated about 1530 in Italian commedia dell'arte as a saucy and adroit servant girl; her Italian name means "Little Dove." Her costume included a cap and apron but seldom a commedia mask, and she usually spoke in the Tuscan dialect. In French theatre the character became a lady's maid and intrigant and assumed a variety of roles opposite Cassandre, Pantalone (Pantaloon), Harlequin, and Pierrot. In English comedies she was usually the daughter or ward of Pantaloon and in love with Harlequin. The soubrette of the 20th-century musical comedy is a version of the Columbine character

Learn more about Columbine with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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