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[dal-yuh, dahl- or, esp. British, deyl-] /ˈdæl yə, ˈdɑl- or, esp. British, ˈdeɪl-/
any composite plant of the genus Dahlia, native to Mexico and Central America and widely cultivated for its showy, variously colored flower heads.
the flower or tuberous root of a dahlia.
a pale violet or amethyst color.
of the color dahlia.
Origin of dahlia
1791; < New Latin, named after Anders Dahl (died 1789), Swedish botanist; see -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dahlia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • dahlia comes of another age; she comes from the country of fjords and legends.

    Woman Magdeleine Marx
  • My-Boot's nose was in full bloom, a regular purple Burgundy dahlia.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • I must tell you of an experience I had in transplanting a dahlia, which was in bloom, the last day of July.

  • Of course, without them, he could not have it any more than a dahlia, or a tulip.

  • Frosts that kill dahlia tops, and many other plants, do not harm geraniums.

    Talks about Flowers. M. D. Wellcome
  • I am quite sure that there is not so good a dahlia this year.

    The Lost Dahlia Mary Russell Mitford
  • It was quite plain, and, compared with her own, as a daisy is to a dahlia.

    The Golden Butterfly Walter Besant
  • He flew to a dahlia stake, and from there again addressed the lady.

    The Story of a Robin Agnes S. Underwood
  • The dahlia, we are told, first came from the valley of Mexico.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
British Dictionary definitions for dahlia


any herbaceous perennial plant of the Mexican genus Dahlia, having showy flowers and tuberous roots, esp any horticultural variety derived from D. pinnata: family Asteraceae (composites)
the flower or root of any of these plants
Word Origin
C19: named after Anders Dahl, 18th-century Swedish botanist; see -ia
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 dahlia

1804, named 1791 by Spanish botanist Antonio José Cavanilles for Anders Dahl (1751-1789), Swedish botanist and pupil of Linnaeus, who discovered it in Mexico in 1788. No blue variety had ever been cultivated, hence blue dahlia, figurative expression for "something impossible or unattainable" (1880).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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