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smilax

[smahy-laks] /ˈsmaɪ læks/
noun
1.
any plant belonging to the genus Smilax, of the lily family, growing in tropical and temperate zones, consisting mostly of vines having woody stems.
2.
a delicate, twining plant, Asparagus asparagoides, of the lily family, having glossy, bright-green, egg-shaped leaves, cultivated by florists.
Origin of smilax
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Latin smīlax bindweed < Greek smîlax bindweed, yew
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for smilax
Historical Examples
  • But smilax, never faltering, moved with the ease of a shadow.

    Wings of the Wind Credo Harris
  • smilax, as now used by florists, is but a very recent affair.

  • "No stay long 'nough in there to get much hungry," smilax shook his head.

    Wings of the Wind Credo Harris
  • The strawberry is no more a plagiarist than the smilax, nor the grape than the nettle.

    The Foot-path Way Bradford Torrey
  • They were inoculated with excitement and their nostrils pricked with the delicious smells of flowers and smilax and feast meats.

    Fairfax and His Pride Marie Van Vorst
  • smilax had opened our duffle and hung out several things to air.

    Wings of the Wind Credo Harris
  • For decoration have a frieze of ropes or smilax caught with scarlet ribbon.

    Suppers Paul Pierce
  • I'd take off my hat to you, smilax, if the storm hadn't blown it away!

    Wings of the Wind Credo Harris
  • Then smilax got one during the chase—which shows that he and Echochee haven't been killed.

    Wings of the Wind Credo Harris
  • "For God's sake," I whispered—but smilax had turned back to us and was beside her.

    Wings of the Wind Credo Harris
British Dictionary definitions for smilax

smilax

/ˈsmaɪlæks/
noun
1.
any typically climbing shrub of the smilacaceous genus Smilax, of warm and tropical regions, having slightly lobed leaves, small greenish or yellow flowers, and berry-like fruits: includes the sarsaparilla plant and greenbrier
2.
a fragile, much branched liliaceous vine, Asparagus asparagoides, of southern Africa: cultivated by florists for its glossy bright green foliage
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek: bindweed
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 smilax

type of lilaceous plant, c.1600, from Latin, from Greek smilax "blindweed," also used of the yew and a kind of evergreen oak.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
17
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