a. A bulbous Mediterranean plant (Hyacinthus orientalis) having narrow leaves and a terminal raceme of variously colored, usually fragrant flowers, with a funnel-shaped perianth.
b. Any of several similar or related plants, such as the grape hyacinth.
2. Greek Mythology A plant, perhaps the larkspur, gladiolus, or iris, that sprang from the blood of the slain Hyacinthus.
3. A deep purplish blue to vivid violet.
a. A reddish or cinnamon-colored variety of transparent zircon, used as a gemstone. Also called jacinth.
b. A blue precious stone, perhaps the sapphire, known in antiquity.
[Latin hyacinthus, from Greek huakinthos, wild hyacinth.]
hy′a·cinthine (-sĭnthĭn, -thīn′) adj.
(click for a larger image)hyacinth
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.