Definitions

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

  • transitive v. Botany To cause (a plant) to develop without chlorophyll by preventing exposure to sunlight.
  • transitive v. To cause to appear pale and sickly: a face that was etiolated from years in prison.
  • transitive v. To make weak by stunting the growth or development of.
  • intransitive v. Botany To become blanched or whitened, as when grown without sunlight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make pale through lack of light, especially of a plant.
  • v. To make a person pale and sickly-looking.
  • adj. etiolated

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To become white or whiter; to be whitened or blanched by excluding the light of the sun, as, plants.
  • intransitive v. To become pale through disease or absence of light.
  • transitive v. To blanch; to bleach; to whiten by depriving of the sun's rays.
  • transitive v. To cause to grow pale by disease or absence of light.
  • adj. Having a blanched or faded appearance, as birds inhabiting desert regions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To grow white from absence of the normal amount of coloring matter, as the leaves or stalks of plants; be whitened by exclusion of the light of the sun, as plants: sometimes, in pathology, said of persons.
  • To blanch; whiten by exclusion of the sun's rays or by disease.
  • Synonyms Blanch, etc. See whiten.
  • Also etiolize.

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

  • v. bleach and alter the natural development of (a green plant) by excluding sunlight
  • adj. (especially of plants) developed without chlorophyll by being deprived of light
  • v. make weak by stunting the growth or development of
  • v. make pale or sickly

Etymologies

French étioler, from Norman French étieuler, to grow into haulm, from éteule, stalk, from Old French esteule, from Vulgar Latin *stupula, from Latin stipula.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French étioler, from Norman French étieuler, ultimately from Old French estuble ("stubble"), from Latin stupla, from stipula ("straw, stubble") (English stubble). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Already, on the walk from the station, the May sunshine had made him feel dirty and etiolated, a creature of indoors, with the sooty dust of London in the pores of his skin." George Orwell, 1984

    February 6, 2011