\ 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

But these buds have stayed put in my ears throughout four-mile runs and at-home dancing sessions. Locke Hughes, NBC News, "The best workout headphones, according to these fitness professionals," 22 Aug. 2019 Most wirefree buds are giganto, die after a few hours, and have a bunch of other control and Bluetooth problems. Jeffrey Van Camp, WIRED, "The Best Wirefree Earbuds," 12 Aug. 2019 There are three California lilacs with whispery purple buds to remember the triplets. Kevin Fisher-paulson, SFChronicle.com, "An olive branch to S.F. sourdough lovers," 30 July 2019 There is no pot smoke in the air, no bud on the coffee table. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "Floyd Landis Still Has a Lot to Say," 19 July 2019 Though the two seem like best buds in the clip, Wahlberg, now 48, opened up about the pair’s rocky start before filming in an interview last year. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Mark Wahlberg Shares 1994 Clip of His Friendship with Leonardo DiCaprio—Despite Their Rocky Start," 18 July 2019 At the same time, the prices of corn, soybeans and winter wheat rose significantly higher than cotton, making those crops more attractive than the white buds. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "Alabama cotton figures in crop’s resurgence," 15 July 2019 Located in nearby Coupeville, the menu includes grilled sunflower buds with carrot and hazelnut romesco and arugula pistou and the island’s famous Penn Cove mussels topped with crème fraiche. Jen Murphy, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Long Weekend on Whidbey Island, the Playground of the Pacific Northwest," 10 July 2019 They could just as easily be ensconced in your den, hunched over Playstation while joking, joshing and jabbing with each other as only best buds can. Rod Stafford Hagwood, sun-sentinel.com, "Desus Nice and Kid Mero bring their live act to Miami," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 30 budding circus stars in the 2019 Circus Smirkus troupe are ages 11 to 18, and bring youthful exuberance and polished circus skills to grace the Big Top from regions across the United States and Canada. courant.com, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 22 July 2019 But El Niño can cause wind shear to develop there that can rip apart budding tropical storms and hurricanes. Brian K. Sullivan, The Denver Post, "Colorado State University adds one big storm to forecasts for this year’s hurricane season," 4 June 2019 Three fellow budding pop acts opened, starting with Taylor Grey, a relatively straightforward singer/songwriter who happens to be studying neuroscience at Stanford University on the side. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Stillwater native Jonah Marais and his boy band Why Don’t We earn screams at Grandstand," 23 Aug. 2019 If single, giving off mixed messages could complicate a budding tie. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 23 Aug. 2019 Apple has cut off Iranians from its popular apps store, a move that undercut the country's budding tech sector. NBC News, "Tech-savvy Iranians stay connected on social media despite regime restrictions," 21 Aug. 2019 Unlike Durant, Harden and Irving, Walker is not a budding young star waiting to complete his transition into a household name. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Kemba Walker Can Finally Take the Next Step to Stardom," 21 Aug. 2019 The truth is, Miami — under coach Howard Schnellenberger and then Jimmy Johnson — was building a budding dynasty back then and the Gators didn’t want to contribute to the cause. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "Gators shouldn’t play 'Canes every year — if they’re serious about playing a national schedule | Commentary," 20 Aug. 2019 Instead, the three argue, the strategy was to buy out budding threats. Steve Lohr, New York Times, "How Should Big Tech Be Reined In? Here Are 4 Prominent Ideas," 20 Aug. 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

27 Aug 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

What made you want to look up bud? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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