What does holly mean?

Definitions for holly
ˈhɒl ihol·ly

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word holly.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. hollynoun

    any tree or shrub of the genus Ilex having red berries and shiny evergreen leaves with prickly edges

  2. Holly, Buddy Holly, Charles Hardin Holleynoun

    United States rock star (1936-1959)


  1. hollynoun

    Any of various shrubs or (mostly) small trees, of the genus Ilex, either evergreen or deciduous, used as decoration especially at Christmas.

  2. hollynoun

    The wood from this tree.

  3. hollynoun

    Any of several unrelated plant species likened to Ilex because of their prickly, evergreen foliage and/or round, bright-red berries

  4. Hollynoun

    A female given name from English.

    Grandma said, "I used to know a little girl called Holly - she always had her dresses trimmed with red or green." Milly-Molly-Mandy thought that was quite a nice name.

  5. Hollynoun

    A topographic surname.

  6. Hollynoun

    A male given name transferred from the surname.

  7. Etymology: holly, shortening of holin, from holegn, from huli- (compare Dutch/German hulst, Old Norse hulfr), from kol 'prickly' (compare Welsh celyn 'holly', Russian kolos 'ear of wheat', Albanian kallí 'straw, chaff', Sanskrit kaţambá 'arrow'), from *kel 'to cut' (compare Old Church Slavonic kolja 'to prick').

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Hollynoun

    A plant.

    Etymology: holeyn, Saxon.

    The leaves are set about the edges with long, sharp, stiff prickles: the berries are small, round, and generally of a red colour, containing four triangular striated seeds in each. Of this tree there are several species; some variegated in the leaves, some with yellow berries, and some with white. Mill.

    Fairest blossoms drop with every blast;
    But the brown beauty will like hollies last. John Gay.

    Some to the holly hedge
    Nestling repair, and to the thicket some;
    Some to the rude protection of the thorn. James Thomson, Spring.


  1. Holly

    Ilex (), or holly, is a genus of over 560 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. Ilex has the most species of any woody dioecious angiosperm genus. The species are evergreen or deciduous trees, shrubs, and climbers from tropics to temperate zones worldwide. The type species is Ilex aquifolium, the common European holly used in Christmas decorations and cards.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Hollyadverb


  2. Hollynoun

    a tree or shrub of the genus Ilex. The European species (Ilex Aguifolium) is best known, having glossy green leaves, with a spiny, waved edge, and bearing berries that turn red or yellow about Michaelmas

  3. Hollynoun

    the holm oak. See 1st Holm

  4. Etymology: [OE holi, holin, AS. holen, holegn; akin to D. & G. hulst, OHG. huls hulis, W. celyn, Armor. kelen, Gael. cuilionn, Ir. cuileann. Cf. 1st Holm, Hulver.]


  1. Holly

    Ilex, or holly, is a genus of 400 to 600 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. The species are evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, and climbers from tropics to temperate zones worldwide.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Holly

    hol′i, n. an evergreen shrub having leathery, shining, and spinous leaves and scarlet or yellow berries, much used for Christmas decorations. [A.S. holegn; cf. W. celyn, Ir. cuileann.]

Rap Dictionary

  1. hollynoun

    See ho.

Suggested Resources

  1. holly

    Song lyrics by holly -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by holly on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. HOLLY

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Holly is ranked #3979 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Holly surname appeared 8,934 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 3 would have the surname Holly.

    66.3% or 5,926 total occurrences were White.
    27.7% or 2,477 total occurrences were Black.
    2.5% or 230 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.9% or 174 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 79 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 48 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'holly' in Nouns Frequency: #3027

How to pronounce holly?

How to say holly in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of holly in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of holly in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of holly in a Sentence

  1. Ken Paxton:

    I am extremely proud of the exceptional work done by my office's newly formed Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit, my office diligently worked across state lines to uncover the mystery surrounding Holly's disappearance.

  2. Jennifer Aniston:

    The only reason I knew [that I had it] was because I went to get a prescription for glasses, i had to wear these Buddy Holly glasses. One had a blue lens and one had a red lens. And I had to read a paragraph, and they gave me a quiz, gave me 10 questions based on what I’d just read, and I think I got three right. Then they put a computer on my eyes, showing where my eyes went when I read. My eyes would jump four words and go back two words, and I also had a little bit of a lazy eye, like a crossed eye, which they always have to correct in photos.

  3. Maggie Moon:

    Holly Phillips said. It's not clear why this happens ; studies suggest that in response to the stress of not getting quality snooze time, there's a reduction in activity in the hypothalamus, the control panel of the brain where body temperature is regulated. A study from the European Journal of Applied Physiology appears to back this up : researchers documented a drop in body temperature in 20 sleep-deprived young adults. Metabolism may be a culprit here as well. When you're fatigued from a restless night, your metabolism works at a more sluggish pace, Holly Phillips said, producing less heat and slower circulation. You're dehydrated Up to 60 percent of the adult human body is water, and water helps regulate body temperature.

  4. Hugh Hefner:

    I love Holly very much and I think we're going to be together the rest of my life, but marriage isn't part of my puzzle. It's not a personal thing; I just haven't had much luck with marriages.

  5. David W. Donoho:

    Everybody’s great. Holly is tired, but she’s fine. Riley came right out and as soon as he heard Holly’s voice, he smiled. He has hair like Elvis — a full head of black hair. The doctor said he came out looking like a 2-year-old.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for holly

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"holly." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Apr. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/holly>.

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    restricted to a particular condition of life
    • A. signify
    • B. obligate
    • C. aggravate
    • D. interrogate

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