bou·​gain·​vil·​lea | \ ˌbü-gən-ˈvil-yə How to pronounce bougainvillea (audio) , ˌbō-, ˌbu̇-, -ˈvē-ə How to pronounce bougainvillea (audio) \
variants: or less commonly bougainvillaea

Definition of bougainvillea

: any of a genus (Bougainvillaea) of the four-o'clock family of ornamental tropical American woody vines and shrubs with brilliant purple or red floral bracts

Examples of bougainvillea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It was renovated a few years ago and now has a lush South Seas feel, with dark pools surrounded by brilliant bougainvillea and flaming red ginger. Jim Byers, Los Angeles Times, "Molokai and Lanai: Two Hawaiian islands, two approaches to tourism," 12 Oct. 2019 The Great Hall of the People was festooned with purple dahlias the size of cabbages and tumbling bows of pink bougainvillea Monday. Los Angeles Times, "On eve of China’s 70th anniversary parade, President Xi says nation leads the world," 30 Sep. 2019 More than 420 guests dined under Bergner & Johnson's palm trellis of lanterns, bougainvillea and even more orchids. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Colombia-inspired Latin American Experience Weekend raises $1.675 million for Museum of Fine Arts," 4 Nov. 2019 Purple asters, face-size Queen Anne’s lace, pink morning glories, blurs of yellow, bursts of blooming cacti, and tumbles of vulgar magenta bougainvillea. Frances Mayes, National Geographic, "Discover Italy’s most delicious secret," 11 July 2019 Majorelle’s marble pools and channels reflect that tradition, along with an astonishing variety of greenery: banana trees, bougainvillea, bamboo, coconut palms, cacti, and water lilies. National Geographic, "Visit a designer’s oasis in the heart of Marrakech," 20 Sep. 2019 The commission is held in Serekunda, outside Gambia’s capital, in a hotel draped with bougainvillea. New York Times, "Now Streaming on YouTube: Confessions From a Presidential Hit Squad in Gambia," 31 Aug. 2019 The lunch was a nod to Capri and my Italian heritage: fuchsia bougainvillea sprawling down the center of the table with lemons and Italian cuisine using all local florals and ingredients. Vogue, "The Bride Arrived By Horse and Carriage at This Wedding in Bermuda," 13 Aug. 2019 Red bougainvillea petals on Future Street, on Isabel Street, in all the tight alleys in the neighborhood. Cyrus Grace Dunham, The New Yorker, "A Year Without a Name," 12 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bougainvillea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bougainvillea

1849, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bougainvillea

New Latin, from Louis Antoine de Bougainville

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Time Traveler for bougainvillea

Time Traveler

The first known use of bougainvillea was in 1849

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Statistics for bougainvillea

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bougainvillea.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bougainvillea


How to pronounce bougainvillea (audio) How to pronounce bougainvillea (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bougainvillea

: a tropical plant that has usually red or purple flowers

More from Merriam-Webster on bougainvillea

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bougainvillea Encyclopedia article about bougainvillea

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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