[lahy-luhk, -lahk, -lak]
any of various shrubs belonging to the genus Syringa, of the olive family, as S. vulgaris, having large clusters of fragrant purple or white flowers: the state flower of New Hampshire.
pale reddish purple.
having the color lilac.

1615–25; < Spanish < Arabic līlak < Persian, assimilated variant of nīlak bluish, equivalent to nīl blue, indigo (< Sanskrit nīla) + -ak suffix of appurtenance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lilac (ˈlaɪlək)
1.  Also called: syringa any of various Eurasian oleaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Syringa, esp S. vulgaris (common lilac) which has large sprays of purple or white fragrant flowers
2.  French lilac another name for goat's-rue
3.  a.  a light or moderate purple colour, sometimes with a bluish or reddish tinge
 b.  (as adjective): a lilac carpet
[C17: via French from Spanish, from Arabic līlak, changed from Persian nīlak bluish, from nīl blue]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1625, from Fr. lilac "shrub of genus Syringa with mauve flowers," from Sp. lilac, from Arabic lilak, from Pers. lilak, variant of nilak "bluish," from nil "indigo" (cf. Skt. nilah "dark blue"), of unknown origin. As a color name, attested from 1791; as a scent, from 1895.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It might be alluring, but a rare flower hat jelly's lilac-tipped fringe can deliver a painful sting.
Lilac-breasted roller shows off its amazing colors in the bright sunlight.
It performs best in traditional cooler lilac-growing regions.
Here, lilac and blush make for a comforting palette.
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