Any of various plants of the genus Trillium, of North America, the Himalaya Mountains, and eastern Asia, having a whorl of three leaflike bracts and a usually white, reddish, or yellow three-petaled flower. Also called birthroot, wake-robin.
[New Latin Trillium, genus name, probably from Swedish trilling, triplet (from its three leaflike bracts), from obsolete Swedish tri, three, from Old Swedish thrīr; see trei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.