a. Any of several chiefly Mediterranean plants of the genera Asphodeline and Asphodelus, having linear leaves and elongate clusters of white, pink, or yellow flowers.
b. Any of several other plants, such as the bog asphodel.
2. In Greek poetry and mythology, the flowers of Hades and the dead, sacred to Persephone.
3. In early English and French poetry, the daffodil.
[Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.