Student Dictionary

2 entries found for tulip.
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Main Entry: tu·lip
Pronunciation: primarystresst(y)ü-lschwap
Function: noun
Etymology: from scientific Latin tulipa "the tulip," from Turkish tülbent "tulip," literally "turban"
: any of a genus of Eurasian herbs that grow from bulbs, have large lance-shaped leaves, are related to the lilies, and are widely grown for their showy cup-shaped flowers; also : the flower or bulb of a tulip
Word History We often think of the tulip as a Dutch flower. The Dutch certainly do grow many tulips, but they first got the plant from Turkey. The Turkish word for the tulip was tülbent, meaning literally "turban." Perhaps it was the flower's shape that reminded the Turks of a turban. Or perhaps it was the bright colors and velvety petals. In any case, scientists picking a universal word for the flower chose the scientific Latin tulipa, taken from the Turkish word. The word came into English from the scientific Latin and was spelled tulip.

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