a. Any of several plants of the genus Heliotropium, especially H. arborescens, native to Peru and having small, highly fragrant purplish flowers. Also called turnsole.
b. The garden heliotrope.
c. Any of various plants that turn toward the sun.
2. See bloodstone.
3. A moderate, light, or brilliant violet to moderate or deep reddish purple.
[Middle English elitrope (from Old English eliotropus) and French héliotrope, both from Latin hēliotropium, from Greek hēliotropion : hēlio-, helio- + tropos, turn; see TROPE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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