heliotrope

UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈhiːlɪəˌtrəʊp/

US:USA pronunciation: respellingUSA pronunciation: respelling(hēlē ə trōp′, hēlyə- or, esp. Brit., helyə-)



WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
he•li•o•trope  (hēlē ə trōp′, hēlyə- or, esp. Brit., helyə-),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Plant Biologyany hairy plant belonging to the genus Heliotropium, of the borage family, as H. arborescens, cultivated for its small, fragrant purple flowers.
  2. Plant Biologyany of various other plants, as the valerian or the winter heliotrope.
  3. Plant Biologyany plant that turns toward the sun.
  4. a light tint of purple;
    reddish lavender.
  5. Surveyingan arrangement of mirrors for reflecting sunlight from a distant point to an observation station.
  6. Mineralogy, Jewelrybloodstone.
  • Medieval Latin
  • Greek hēliotrópion (see helio-, -trope); compare Middle English elitropium, elitropius, Old English eliotropus
  • Latin hēliotropium
  • Middle French héliotrope
  • 1580–90

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
heliotrope /ˈhiːlɪəˌtrəʊp ˈhɛljə-/ n
  1. any boraginaceous plant of the genus Heliotropium, esp the South American H. arborescens, cultivated for its small fragrant purple flowers
  2. garden heliotropea widely cultivated valerian, Valeriana officinalis, with clusters of small pink, purple, or white flowers
  3. any of various plants that turn towards the sun
  4. a bluish-violet to purple colour
  5. (as adjective): a heliotrope dress
  6. an instrument used in geodetic surveying employing the sun's rays reflected by a mirror as a signal for the sighting of stations over long distances
  7. another name for bloodstone
Etymology: 17th Century: from Latin hēliotropium, from Greek hēliotropion, from hēlios sun + trepein to turn
'heliotrope' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):
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