AskDefine | Define heliotrope

Dictionary Definition

heliotrope n : green chalcedony with red spots that resemble blood [syn: bloodstone]

User Contributed Dictionary



from Greek ήλιος ‘sun’ and τρόπος ‘turning’.


(US) /ˈhiːliəˌtroʊp/


  1. A plant that turns so that it faces the sun.
  2. Particularly, a purple-flowered plant of the species Heliotropium arborescens.
    • 1870, Benjamin Disraeli, Lothair
      As they entered now, it seemed a blaze of roses and carnations, though one recognized in a moment the presence of the lily, the heliotrope, and the stock.
  3. A light purple or violet colour.
    heliotrope colour:   
  4. The fragrance of heliotrope flowers.
    • 1881, Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
      ... he had always smelt so much more of heliotrope than of gunpowder.
  5. A bloodstone (a variety of quartz).




  • Japanese: 薄紫 (うすむらさき, usumurasaki)
unclassified translations


  1. Light purple or violet.
    • 1904, Jerome K. Jerome, Tommy and Co.
      Lady in a heliotrope dress with a lace collar, three flounces on the skirt?
    • 1917, Zane Grey, Wildfire
      And following that was a tortuous passage through a weird region of clay dunes, blue and violet and heliotrope and lavender, all worn smooth by rain and wind.
  2. Keeping one’s face turned toward the sun.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick
      while still as on the night before, slouched Ahab stood fixed within his scuttle; his hid, heliotrope glance anticipatingly gone backward on its dial; sat due eastward for the earliest sun.

Derived terms

See also

Extensive Definition

Heliotrope may mean:
heliotrope in Polish: Heliotrop
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