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

  • noun Any of various perennial herbs of the genus Aquilegia in the buttercup family, native to northern temperate regions and cultivated for their showy, variously colored flowers that have petals with long hollow spurs.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The popular name of plants of the genus Aquilegia (which see).
  • Pertaining to or having the characters of a pigeon or dove; in ornithology, belonging to the Columbæ or Columbinæ; columbaceous.
  • Of a dove-color; resembling the neck of a dove in color.
  • noun One of the Columbæ or Columbidæ.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a dove; dovelike; dove-colored.
  • noun (Bot.) A plant of several species of the genus Aquilegia.
  • noun The mistress or sweetheart of Harlequin in pantomimes.

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

  • noun Any plant of the genus Aquilegia, having distinctive bell-shaped flowers with spurs on each petal.
  • adjective archaic Pertaining to a dove or pigeon.

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

  • noun a plant of the genus Aquilegia having irregular showy spurred flowers; north temperate regions especially mountains


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

[Middle English, from Medieval Latin columbīna, from feminine of Latin columbīnus, dovelike (from the resemblance of the inverted flower to a cluster of doves), from columba, dove.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French columbin (French columbin), from Latin columbinus, from dove, pigeon. The noun sense is from the Latin colombina herba ("dove-like plant"), the flower being likened to five clustered pigeons.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word columbine.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Also known as aquilegia.

    October 15, 2007

  • The tag was a good idea, SonfoGroucho. I have to remember to think about tags as a tool for clarification here. Thanks!

    October 15, 2007

  • I tag all my photos in Flickr, so it has become a bit of a habit. I'm not sure if we'll ever geotag words in Wordie!

    October 15, 2007

  • How would geotagging apply to words? Well I can see noting regions for local dialects, but most words are pretty universal...

    October 15, 2007

  • Maybe not words, but geotagging users would be kind of fun. :-) All voluntary, of course.

    October 15, 2007

  • But... but... I don't want people to know I live in Albuquerque!!

    October 15, 2007

  • And yet, you keep telling us all about New Mexico.

    October 15, 2007

  • We could all falsely geotag ourselves to make it look as if we live in much more exotic places than we do: like Albuquerque, for example.

    October 15, 2007

  • Quiet, jennarenn, you'll blow my cover! I've been so careful keeping my location a secret...

    October 15, 2007

  • You must be practicing for your TS clearance!

    October 15, 2007

  • Uselessness lives in New Mexico?? I had no idea.

    Meantime, I'll have to find some way to make it look as though I'm posting from Pennsylvania. For palooka's sake.

    October 15, 2007

  • You probably have friends in Pennsylvania you could relay through reesetee. Is it monsoon season there in India yet old wise one?

    October 15, 2007

  •, palooka, not yet! I'll let you know when...uh...monsoon season hits!

    *mumbles to self*

    October 15, 2007

  • columbine - The inverted flower supposedly resembles a cluster of five doves.

    October 23, 2010