from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A bulbous Mediterranean plant (Hyacinthus orientalis) having narrow leaves and a terminal raceme of variously colored, usually fragrant flowers, with a funnel-shaped perianth.
  • noun Any of several similar or related plants, such as the grape hyacinth.
  • noun Greek Mythology A plant, perhaps the larkspur, gladiolus, or iris, that sprang from the blood of the slain Hyacinthus.
  • noun A deep purplish blue to vivid violet.
  • noun A reddish or cinnamon-colored variety of transparent zircon, used as a gemstone.
  • noun A blue precious stone, perhaps the sapphire, known in antiquity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An ornamental bulbous plant of the genus Hyacinthus (H. orientalis), natural order Liliaceæ.
  • noun By transfer, a plant of some other genus.
  • noun Among the ancients, a gem of bluish-violet color, supposed to be the sapphire.
  • noun In modern usage, a gem of a reddish-orange color which is a variety of the mineral zircon. Some varieties of garnet and topaz also receive this name.
  • noun In heraldry, the tincture tenney or tawny when blazoning is done by colors of precious stones. See blazon.
  • noun In ornithology, a purple gallinule, as of the genus Ionornis or Porphyrio; a sultan.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A bulbous plant of the genus Hyacinthus, bearing beautiful spikes of fragrant flowers. Hyacinthus orientalis is a common variety.
  • noun A plant of the genus Camassia (Camassia Farseri), called also Eastern camass; wild hyacinth.
  • noun The name also given to Scilla Peruviana, a Mediterranean plant, one variety of which produces white, and another blue, flowers; -- called also, from a mistake as to its origin, Hyacinth of Peru.
  • noun (Min.) A red variety of zircon, sometimes used as a gem. See Zircon.
  • noun (Bot.) a climbing leguminous plant (Dolichos Lablab), related to the true bean. It has dark purple flowers and fruit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any bulbous plant of the genus Hyacinthus, native to the Mediterranean and South Africa.
  • noun A variety of zircon, ranging in color from brown, orange, reddish-brown and yellow.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of numerous bulbous perennial herbs
  • noun a red transparent variety of zircon used as a gemstone


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin hyacinthus, from Greek huakinthos, wild hyacinth.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ὑάκινθος (huakinthos, "any of several dark blue flowers")


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  • The word hyacinth comes from the Greek Hyakinthos, a beautiful young man who in Greek mythology was loved by the sun god Apollo. One day they were practising throwing the discus but the jealous god of the West Wind, who was also in love with Hyakinthos, blew the discus back and it fatally wounded him. From his blood grew a flower which the god Apollo named after him.

    January 20, 2008

  • On Emily Dickinson's garden:

    "She never left the house except to tend the hyacinths and heliotrope in her garden, or to cut back the cascading honeysuckle, which, as her niece next door observed, 'lured the hummingbirds all day'."

    from A Summer of Hummingbirds" by Christopher Benfey, p 3

    (and a picture)

    October 15, 2008

  • 'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;

    They called me the hyacinth girl.'

    - Yet when we came back, late, from the hyacinth garden,

    Your arms full and your hair wet, I could not

    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither

    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,

    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    Oed'und leer das Meer.

    - TS Eliot, 'The Wasteland'.

    July 22, 2009

  • If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,

    And from thy slender store two loaves

    alone to thee are left,

    Sell one & from the dole,

    Buy hyacinths to feed the soul.

    - Muslihuddin Sadi.

    February 20, 2010

  • Sometimes bilby scares me. I think he knows too much.

    February 20, 2010

  • Are you the Hyacinth Girl?

    February 20, 2010

  • I think you both know too much.

    *psst* I'm pretty sure you just gave away her secret, bilby.

    February 21, 2010

  • Dang it, I made it this far without reading The Waste Land, but now I'll have to read it. I'll get back to you on this.

    February 21, 2010

  • Here's my report on The Waste Land. First, if anyone asks, it's my official policy to make fun of people who read personal symbolism into poetry while neglecting a poem's form and its political, social, or literary context, blah, blah, blah.

    Now it's safe for me to say it was "iroquoisy" because of the footnote about Actaeon, the ardent hunter, and that of course I'm the hyacinth girl--we all are. We are also all Tiresias.

    February 23, 2010