\ ˈbəd \

Definition of bud 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small lateral or terminal protuberance on the stem of a plant that may develop into a flower, leaf, or shoot
2 : something not yet mature or at full development: such as
a : an incompletely opened flower
b : child, youth
c(1) : an outgrowth of an organism that differentiates into a new individual : gemma
(2) : an outgrowth having the potential to differentiate and grow into a definitive organ or part : primordium an embryonic limb bud
3 : buddy
4 slang : marijuana The dance floor is packed. Red and blue lights filter through cigarette and bud smoke.— T-Love
in the bud
: in an early stage of development nipped the rebellion in the bud


budded; budding

Definition of bud (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 of a plant

a : to set or put forth buds
b : to commence growth from buds
2 : to grow or develop from or as if from a bud
3 : to reproduce asexually especially by the pinching off of a small part of the parent

transitive verb

1 : to produce or develop from buds
2 : to cause (a plant) to bud
3 : to insert a bud from a plant of one kind into an opening in the bark of (a plant of another kind) usually in order to propagate a desired variety

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Other Words from bud


budder noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bud

Synonyms: Noun

bairn [chiefly Scottish], bambino, chap [Southern & Midland], chick, child, cub, juvenile, kid, kiddie (also kiddy), kiddo, moppet, sprat, sprout, squirt, whelp, youngling, youngster, youth

Antonyms: Noun

adult, grown-up

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Examples of bud in a Sentence


The bush has plenty of buds but no flowers yet. that sitcom star is still a bud, so all he needs right now are looks and personality


The trees budded early this spring.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This was another thing nudging me toward always keeping the buds in the case. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless review: sonic standout," 30 Nov. 2018 When buds appear, introduce the plant to warmer temperatures and begin regular culture (described above). The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Keep Your Christmas Cactus Blooming the Whole Holiday Season," 27 Nov. 2018 These buds even come with a portable charging case that adds up to six charges on the go. Popular Mechanics, "Get Deep Black Friday Discounts on These 10 Headphones and Earbuds," 15 Nov. 2018 Like the Pixel buds, these earbuds are made of hard plastic, so the shape has to be a perfect match for your ears to not cause pain. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Pixel 3 XL review—Google software deserves better than this hardware," 15 Oct. 2018 Thanks for the not-at-all-scary foreshadowing for the rest of the movie, bud! Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Shay Mitchell's New Thriller "The Possession of Hannah Grace" Releases First Trailer," 15 Oct. 2018 The tight pink and ivory buds of several fragrant viburnum flirted with passersby who knew the scent of just one of the open flowers could stop them in their tracks. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award runner-up: "Here Is Where the Taxi Driver Set His Wife on Fire" by GKS Waller," 2 June 2018 After Calderon spent several mornings in sweats with buds in his ears, marching out the exact routine by himself as puzzled tourists looked on, the Marines picked the plaza in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, "Precision, patriotism and a new stage for a beloved Marine tradition," 11 June 2018 For example, a marijuana bud that’s tested to show a different potency than what’s on the label can be relabeled and sold with the right specification. Michael R. Blood, The Seattle Times, "Many California marijuana products failing safety tests," 10 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While your loved one's energy goes from almost dormant to budding in days, then back to dormant again, your energy flags, as well. Dg Fulford, Woman's Day, "Lifestyle," 24 Jan. 2011 Winning is fun, join the party After turning an unhappy star into a budding superstar and a blossoming big man, Kevin Pritchard's stunning 12-month run continued with what is being widely lauded as a home-run offseason for the Pacers' president. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "In rare twist, Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once," 9 July 2018 What new: There is an increasing range of finger lime selections that are budded onto citrus rootstock. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, "Finger limes the ‘caviar’ of citrus for your garden," 9 Apr. 2018 Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers: 15.9 points, 1.8 assists, 6.3 rebounds The Lakers’ budding forward bounced back from his worst month as a pro in February to post some of his best numbers of the year. Michael Singer, USA TODAY, "NBA rookie rankings: How close is Ben Simmons to Magic Johnson?," 27 Mar. 2018 Each spring, the former National Park Service biologist gathers budding spruce tips, often less than a mile from her stills, to confer a lemony flavor that pairs with piney juniper. Sunset, "6 Botanical Gins We’re Loving Right Now," 22 Jan. 2018 There’s strong impetus from both sides for getting a deal done, as Uber seeks to lock up the market before it’s fully formed, and the budding unicorn startups work to secure the funding to match their hyperaccelerated growth. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Trump and Xi Jinping reach a temporary trade-war truce," 3 Dec. 2018 And while Severide is in for more heartache, which will affect his relationship with Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo), fans can rest easy knowing there's a budding romance coming as well. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "'Chicago Fire' Fans Are Going to be 'Furious' After the Devastating Fall Finale," 28 Nov. 2018 The peck fest all started with Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten, whose budding romance has been teased over the past few weeks. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Fans Go Nuts After Seeing Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten's Steamy Kiss," 6 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bud.' 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 bud


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bud


Middle English budde

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Statistics for bud

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for bud

The first known use of bud was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for bud



English Language Learners Definition of bud

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small part that grows on a plant and develops into a flower, leaf, or new branch



English Language Learners Definition of bud (Entry 2 of 2)

: to produce buds


\ ˈbəd \

Kids Definition of bud

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small growth at the tip or on the side of a stem that later develops into a flower, leaf, or branch
2 : a flower that has not fully opened
3 : an early stage of development Let's nip this problem in the bud.


budded; budding

Kids Definition of bud (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to form or put forth a small growth that develops into a flower, leaf, or branch The trees budded early this spring.
2 : to reproduce by asexual means by forming a small growth that pinches off and develops into a new organism a budding yeast cell


\ ˈbəd \

Medical Definition of bud 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an asexual reproductive structure
b : a primordium having potentialities for growth and development into a definitive structure an embryonic limb bud a horn bud
2 : an anatomical structure (as a tactile corpuscle) resembling a bud
budded; budding

Medical Definition of bud (Entry 2 of 2)

: to reproduce asexually especially by the pinching off of a small part of the parent

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More from Merriam-Webster on bud

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bud

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bud

Spanish Central: Translation of bud

Nglish: Translation of bud for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bud for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bud

Comments on bud

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