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hyacinth

[hahy-uh-sinth] /ˈhaɪ ə sɪnθ/
noun
1.
a bulbous plant, Hyacinthus orientalis, of the lily family, widely cultivated for its cylindrical cluster of fragrant flowers in a variety of colors.
2.
any of various similar or related plants, as the grape hyacinth or the water hyacinth.
3.
a plant fabled to have sprung from the blood of Hyacinthus and variously identified as iris, gladiolus, larkspur, etc.
4.
Mineralogy. a reddish-orange zircon.
5.
a gem of the ancients, held to be the amethyst or sapphire.
Also called jacinth for defs 3–5.
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; < Latin hyacinthus < Greek hyákinthos blue larkspur, also a gem of blue color; cf. jacinth
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for hyacinth
  • Caiman continues to house scientific teams, and guests can participate in jaguar and hyacinth macaw research projects.
  • hyacinth bean is an important food, forage, and medicinal plant.
  • hyacinth systems can be used to advantage in correcting algal bloom problems in oxidation ponds.
British Dictionary definitions for hyacinth

hyacinth

/ˈhaɪəsɪnθ/
noun
1.
any liliaceous plant of the Mediterranean genus Hyacinthus, esp any cultivated variety of H. orientalis, having a thick flower stalk bearing white, blue, or pink fragrant flowers
2.
the flower or bulb of such a plant
3.
any similar or related plant, such as the grape hyacinth
4.
Also called jacinth. a red or reddish-brown transparent variety of the mineral zircon, used as a gemstone
5.
(Greek myth) a flower which sprang from the blood of the dead Hyacinthus
6.
  1. any of the varying colours of the hyacinth flower or stone
  2. (as modifier) hyacinth eyes
Derived Forms
hyacinthine (ˌhaɪəˈsɪnθaɪn) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin hyacinthus, from Greek huakinthos
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 hyacinth
hyacinth
1553 in this form; earlier jacinth (1230), from Gk. hyakinthos, probably ult. from a non-I.E. Mediterranean language. Used in ancient Greece of a blue gem, perhaps sapphire, and of a purple or deep red flower, but exactly which one is unknown (gladiolus, iris, and larkspur have been suggested). Fabled to have sprouted from the blood of Hyakinthos, youth beloved by Apollo and accidentally slain by him. The flower is said to have the letters "AI" or "AIAI" on its petals. The modern use in ref. to a flowering plant genus is from 1578.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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