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mariposa lily

[mar-uh-poh-suh, -zuh] /ˌmær əˈpoʊ sə, -zə/
any lily of the genus Calochortus, of the western U.S. and Mexico, having tuliplike flowers of various colors.
Also called mariposa, mariposa tulip.
Origin of mariposa lily
1880-85, Americanism; < Spanish mariposa butterfly, moth; so named because blooms were likened to butterflies Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mariposa
Historical Examples
  • It leads toward that yet unbuilt home in the wild hills of mariposa.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
  • This is as true of the mariposa big tree region as of the valley.

    Our Italy Charles Dudley Warner
  • In a direct line from Stockton to the mariposa it may be from 80 to 90 miles.

    California As It Is and As It May Be Feliks Pawe? Wierzbicki
  • Was it a possibility that Marcia, Marcia, might be the heiress of the great mariposa estate?

    The Silver Butterfly Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • While Robert considered this question the mariposa looked at her watch, then touched an electric bell.

    The Silver Butterfly Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • I was thinking not only of Miss Oldham, but of the other butterfly lady—the mariposa.

    The Silver Butterfly Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • Many of the Indians in mariposa and adjoining counties were polygamists, having two or three, and sometimes more, wives.

  • The mariposa lily's, perhaps, is the most classic petal in the Park.

    Your National Parks Enos A. Mills
  • In fact, there were many people in mariposa like that, and for all I know you may yourself have seen such elsewhere.

  • Most visitors go to the mariposa grove, the largest of the three.

    The Yosemite John Muir
British Dictionary definitions for mariposa


/ˌmærɪˈpəʊzə; -sə/
any of several liliaceous plants of the genus Calochortus, of the southwestern US and Mexico, having brightly coloured tulip-like flowers Also called mariposa lily, mariposa tulip
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish: butterfly; from the likeness of the blooms to butterflies
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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