• WordNet 3.6
    • adj lilac of a pale purple color
    • n lilac any of various plants of the genus Syringa having large panicles of usually fragrant flowers
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Lilac A light purplish color like that of the flower of the purplish lilac.
    • Lilac (Bot) A shrub of the genus Syringa. There are six species, natives of Europe and Asia. Syringa vulgaris, the common lilac, and Syringa Persica, the Persian lilac, are frequently cultivated for the fragrance and beauty of their purplish or white flowers. In the British colonies various other shrubs have this name.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n lilac A shrub of the genus Syringa. See Syringa. The common lilacs are S. vulgaris and S. Persica, with their varieties; they abound, especially the former, as ornamental plants, cultivated for their beauty and fragrance. S.vulgaris is the larger species, having heart-shaped leaves and large thyrsiform clusters of purple flowers—the ordinary purple lilac or Scotch lilac, or, with white flowers, the common white lilac. There is also a blue-flowered variety. S. Persica, the Persian lilac, is a smaller, slender shrub, with looser panicles and pale flowers, blooming later, and also having a white variety. Countess Josika's lilac, S. Josikæa, discovered by the Countess von Josika in Transylvania, is a tall shrub with elliptical-lanceolate wrinkled leaves and bluish-purple scentless flowers. The Himalayan lilac, S. Emodi, is large, with dense panicles, but is not preferred to the common lilac. The lilac was formerly called pipe-tree or pipe-privets, and blue-pipe, on account of the large pith that could easily be bored out of the straight shoots to make pipe-stems. The common lilac has febrifugal properties. (See lilacine.) An oil is extracted from it for use in perfumery. The name lilac has also been given to various plants having some resemblance to the true lilac (see phrases below).
    • n lilac The color of the common lilac-blossom; a pale-purple color. A color-disk composed of one half artificial ultramarine, one sixth Chinese vermilion, and one third white will give a lilac.
    • lilac Of the light-purple color of the flower of the common lilac.
    • n lilac A fanciers' name for a peculiar bluish-gray color shown in the coats of some domesticated mice.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Lilac lī′lak a pretty flowering shrub, with a flower of a light-purple colour
    • adj Lilac having the colour of the lilac flower
    • ***


  • T. S. Eliot
    “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Sp. lilac, lila, Ar. līlak, fr. Per. līlaj, līlanj, līlang, nīlaj, nīl, the indigo plant, or from the kindred līlak, bluish, the flowers being named from the color. Cf. Anil


In literature:

I'll be back next lilac time.
"Green Valley" by Katharine Reynolds
First come pale crocuses and lilac soldanellas.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete" by John Symonds
Look through the lilacs.
"Judith of Blue Lake Ranch" by Jackson Gregory
Donal picked leaves from a lilac bush.
"Robin" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The perfume from the wet lilac shrubs was a very dream of sweetness.
"A Maker of History" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
But I had tried the lilac-bush myself with no better success.
"Six to Sixteen" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
In the meadow were two great oaks and some clusters of lilacs.
"Good Cheer Stories Every Child Should Know" by Various
We walked down the street past dooryards where lilacs were blooming, keeping together till we crossed the river.
"The Best Short Stories of 1915" by Various
Unfortunately everyone knew Lilac, and Lilac knew everyone, so there was no escape.
"White Lilac; or the Queen of the May" by Amy Walton
I remembered where I was stopping at the time, the season being advanced, there were many lilacs in full bloom.
"Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday" by Various
The plants are five or six feet high, of medium strength and vigor; flowers pale-lilac.
"The Field and Garden Vegetables of America" by Fearing Burr
But if lilacs are the proper stunt for a swell country place, I'll bet Mr. Robert's got 'em.
"The House of Torchy" by Sewell Ford
Stuck it out through a back window into a lilac bush, and we'll pick it up at our leisure.
"Blacksheep! Blacksheep!" by Meredith Nicholson
Diana laid the lilacs on the table, and drew the girl into her arms.
"Glory of Youth" by Temple Bailey
Beside the cherry tree grew a lilac bush.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
I'd most begun to think I was going to be like my Lilac Lady.
"Heart of Gold" by Ruth Alberta Brown
The pit was a mist of lilac, which shifted and ever shifted.
"Nights in London" by Thomas Burke
The streak ended under one of the lilac bushes in a dark brown stain.
"Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes" by Various
The lovely floor, the minute pieces of marble forming a far-more-lovely-than possible faded purple and lilac rug.
"The Spirit of Rome" by Vernon Lee
And he wore a lilac-edged handkerchief in his left cuff.
"The Gay Rebellion" by Robert W. Chambers

In poetry:

A lilac spray, still blossom-clad,
Sways slow before the empty rooms;
Beside the roofless porch a sad
Pathetic red rose blooms.
"The Homestead" by John Greenleaf Whittier
In vain a fresher mould we seek,--
Can all the varied phrases tell
That Babel's wandering children speak
How thrushes sing or lilacs smell?
"To My Readers" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Rose, canna and lilac, each warden
She left of her memory here,
They know when she walks in her garden.
What ails thee to doubt she is here?
"The Afterglow" by Manmohan Ghose
What meaning has the menacing
Beauty beneath the lilac seated,
If to steal children's not the thing?
So first they fear that they are cheated.
"So they begin. With two years gone..." by Boris Pasternak
The day is closing dark and cold,
With roaring blast and sleety showers;
And through the dusk the lilacs wear
The bloom of snow, instead of flowers.
"The Legend of St. Mark" by John Greenleaf Whittier
When wake the violets, Winter dies;
When sprout the elm-buds, Spring is near:
When lilacs blossom, Summer cries,
"Bud, little roses! Spring is here!"
"Spring Has Come" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

In news:

The leaves are much smaller and cleaner than those of other lilacs bushes.
The rain held off Saturday for people to enjoy the Junior Lilac Parade in Downtown Spokane.
Lilac Linguistics are young kids with old souls.
On the Run on Mackinac Island Lilac Festival kicks off a trilogy of races.
It's the best way to reacquaint yourself with life's simplest pleasures—the scent of lilacs, the sight of the sun rising and setting and the taste of fresh-baked bread.
70s today, rain tonight, Early lilac bloom.
Salvia Purple Rain, lilac sage.
After the hurricane passed, some of the lilacs in my yard were lying on their sides with half their roots out of the ground.
11475 Lilac Ave, St Louis, MO 63138.
Lilac was returned to Antietam Humane Society, after being stolen on Friday morning.
Lilac, the 8-week-old beagle puppy stolen from Antietam Humane Society Friday morning, has been returned to the shelter on Lyons Road, Waynesboro.
The Lilac City Curling Club is reviving a piece of Spokane's past.
Lilacs in the spring time.
Google Maps A map showing the intersection of Lilac Drive and Stanton Station Road in Readington.
Two years after announcing her retirement, the 26-year-old tweeted about her new lilac hair.