\ ˈbəd How to pronounce bud (audio) \

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

So, head on over, chat up your bud tender, and browse the selection. Kristin Deily, USA TODAY, "Edibles 101: Everything you need to know about eating cannabis safely," 14 June 2019 In March, the European Union voted overwhelmingly to ban straws, food containers and cotton bud sticks, among other plastics by 2021. Hillary Leung, Time, "'We Owe It to Our Kids to Keep the Environment Clean.' Canada to Ban Single-Use Plastics as Early as 2021," 11 June 2019 Beyond the windows were rows of soon-to-bud grapevines and a mashup of hickory and pecan trees known as hicans. Lori Rackl, chicagotribune.com, "A wine country weekend close to home: Southwest Michigan's vineyards boast variety — and a cute new B&B," 5 June 2019 Tiny buds are examined under a microscope for visible mold and foreign objects such as human hair. Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati.com, "See inside an Ohio medical marijuana testing lab," 4 June 2019 Black Friday is one of the best times of the year to pick up a new pair of headphones, with everything from in-ear buds to noise-cancelling headphones getting price cuts. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The best headphone deals for Black Friday," 22 Nov. 2018 Humans, along with other mammals, can regenerate lost limb buds as embryos. Quanta Magazine, "Salamander’s Genome Guards Secrets of Limb Regrowth," 2 July 2018 Sync these Bluetooth buds to your Fitbit Ionic or phone to crank tunes from your wrist. Carly Graf, Outside Online, "Women's Training Essentials for Busy 9-to-5ers," 7 May 2018 Use scissors to cut back an inch or two down from the unopened bud — utting right above a set of leaves. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "Ten tips to ensure a healthy lawn during a Colorado summer," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The question is, who among these budding stars is going to sign first? Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "What’s next for the Sharks and Timo Meier? Maybe a waiting game," 29 June 2019 This year, there was a youth artist’s division for the display and sale of the work of budding artists. Gina Grillo, chicagotribune.com, "Festival of Fine Arts in Highland Park shines spotlight on variety," 24 June 2019 As for the program itself, the budding Clackamas star hopes to attend his first game this fall. oregonlive.com, "Miles Williams, 2022 Clackamas athlete, receives Oregon State Beavers offer," 20 June 2019 The new gallery space has been added by the nonprofit to serve as an exhibition space for budding artists who are seeking ways to launch a professional career within the art world. Sarah Bonnette, nola.com, "Artscape: Movie poster pop-up coming to St. Tammany Art Association," 19 June 2019 The show is on Comedy Cenrtal at 11 p.m. and the party starts at 10 p.m. Hart travels to cities throughout the season (this is Season 3) and learns about the local comedy scene and highlights some of its budding stars. Michael K. Mcintyre, cleveland.com, "Comedian Alonzo Bodden will be in Cleveland for two straight weekends," 12 June 2019 Jenner, a budding tattoo artist in her own right, revealed her new tattoo on her Instagram stories Thursday evening in a short video clip also featuring her friend Anastasia Karanikolaou, in which the two showed off their matching designs. Katherine Cusumano, Allure, "Kylie Jenner and Anastasia Karanikolaou Got Matching "Stormi" Tattoos," 18 May 2019 The results of the day were up for auction last night, with each of the budding artists there to discuss their unique experience in the program. Mai Morsch, Vogue, "Artists Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer Are Celebrated at the Free Arts NYC Auction," 26 Apr. 2019 But Ryan Braun -- with two strikeouts to his credit already -- grounded into a 4-3 double play and Yasmani Grandal grounded out to quickly end the budding threat. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Giants 5, Brewers 3: San Francisco flexes some rare muscle in series opener," 15 June 2019

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

16 Jul 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 How to pronounce bud (audio) \

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 How to pronounce bud (audio) \

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

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