1. Any of several chiefly tropical American bulbous plants of the genus Hippeastrum, grown as ornamentals for their large, showy, funnel-shaped, variously colored flowers.
2. See belladonna lily.
3. Any of several similar or related plants.
[New Latin Amaryllis, genus name of the belladonna lily (the genus being so named by Carl Linnaeus with punning reference to Latin amārus, bitter, from the supposed bitterness of the bulbs of some species once classified in the genus, and also in allusion to the popular name bella donna, Italian for “beautiful lady,” used by European gardeners for the plants), from Latin, the name of a beautiful shepherdess in the Eclogues of Virgil, from Greek Amarullis, the name of a beautiful shepherdess in the pastoral poetry of Theocritus, from amarussein, to sparkle, twinkle (of the eye); akin to Greek marmairein, to shine, sparkle.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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