\ 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 breakout season by Rafael Devers has been a joy for members of the Red Sox organization who have watched the 22-year-old emerge as a budding star, one of the elite young hitters in the game. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Good luck getting a job somewhere else’: the time the Dodgers first base coach almost broke Rafael Devers," 13 July 2019 The model includes permanently attached JoyCons and a smaller screen, but no television dock, making it a cozy little portable baby in the budding Nintendo Switch family. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Lord of the Rings," 12 July 2019 But with so many options to choose from, where does a budding brunchnista even begin? Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "Black And Bougie! These Black-Owned Hotspots Are A Must For Weekend Brunchin'," 12 July 2019 So is Snowball a budding choreographer, spontaneously coming up with his own moves? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Snowball the dancing cockatoo has wide range of killer moves, new study finds," 8 July 2019 The city’s 18th century architecture will transport you back in time to when the United States was just a budding, independent nation. Brittany Brown, baltimoresun.com, "Five Maryland historical sites hosting Fourth of July events," 2 July 2019 Investigators tucked away rape kit samples from the attacks between 1992 and 1994 in the Sacramento and Davis areas in hopes that the budding science would one day lead to a match. Don Thompson, The Mercury News, "‘John Doe DNA’ from 1992 matched to suspect in 3 Northern California rapes," 2 July 2019 That would add to a budding Oyo presence elsewhere in Texas, with hotels in Houston, San Antonio, Killeen, Tyler, Groesbeck, Texarkana and Wichita Falls. Kara Carlson, Dallas News, "Indian hotel chain Oyo launches in U.S with $300 million investment, Dallas home base," 1 July 2019 Durant has been connected to the Knicks for months, and his budding off-the-court empire makes a New York address—and all that comes with it—appealing. Chris Mannix, SI.com, "Culture Over Tanking: Why Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving Chose the Nets," 30 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

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on bud

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to complain fretfully

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