a plant with a mass of small blue, white or pink flowers with a sweet smell that grow closely together around a thick stem Word Origin mid 16th cent. (denoting a gem): from French hyacinthe, via Latin from Greek huakinthos, denoting a plant identified with the flower in the myth of Hyacinthus, and a gem (perhaps the sapphire). In Greek mythology, Hyacinthus was a boy who Apollo loved but killed accidentally. From his blood Apollo made the hyacinth spring up. The current sense dates from the late 16th cent.