\ 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

Miley Cyrus is nipping those pregnancy rumors in the bud. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Miley Cyrus Responds to Rumors That She and Liam Hemsworth Are Expecting a Baby," 17 Jan. 2019 That’s a danger sign, according to Amadieu, who believes the protests could have been nipped in the bud weeks ago. Elaine Ganley, The Seattle Times, "Violent protests in France reveal a hard-to-heal fracture," 4 Dec. 2018 These signals are triggered when the plant experiences a change in its environment—a shift in temperature, for example, exposure to light, or damage to its stem, roots, leaves, or buds. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "The Leafy Green Cyborgs Are Coming," 6 Dec. 2018 The soft, delicate images of flowers, buds and leaves were chosen for their visual impact. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Michelle Constantine Cole's "Untitled:Twentyfive" To Be Released June 15," 6 June 2018 Witches’ broom and bud sports eventually came to be known as mosaics, after the artworks made up of tiny tiles. New York Times, "Every Cell in Your Body Has the Same DNA. Except It Doesn’t.," 21 May 2018 Jack's BBQ The Wandering Goose This sweet country-style space feels like a Southern farmhouse, with yellow walls and bud based on the tables, in the middle of Capitol Hill. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Brunch & Breakfast Places in Seattle," 21 May 2018 Waight Keller's team at Givenchy embroidered the trim of the veil and blusher with flowers–and not just any buds and blooms. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Veil Honored Princess Diana in the Most Modern Way," 19 May 2018 Gravitch's Facebook page makes no mention of 420, and the business bios of Reddix and Capper don't have a single mention of chiba, doob, doober, schwag, hog leg, or kind bud. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "Ready to roll? It's marijuana's big day, so here's the history of 420, man," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Chicago Fire has been known for its cruel deaths in the past, but would the show really introduce a budding romance just to kill off one (or both) of the characters off?! Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "A Terrifying 'Chicago Fire' Sneak Peek Shows Casey Fighting for His Life," 8 Jan. 2019 Now this budding superhero franchise is becoming a trilogy with Glass. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi Film Guide," 3 Jan. 2019 The maker of Marlboro cigarettes is joining some of the biggest names in beer in exploring the budding cannabis marketplace. Dee-ann Durbin, The Seattle Times, "Marlboro maker Altria the latest big company to explore pot," 5 Dec. 2018 Naturally, budding Picassos—that is to say children—can immerse themselves in the art world, too. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "This Paris Hotel's Art Concierge Provides the Ultimate Insider Travel Experience," 9 Aug. 2018 The budding rivalry between the Rockets and Warriors has spilled onto the pages of Yelp. Will Mccollister, SI.com, "Rockets Fans Troll Ayesha Curry's New Restauraunt with Bad Yelp Reviews," 20 June 2018 Cathleen Taff, Disney's head of distribution, teed up an entire Solo scene that shows the budding rivalry between a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Solo: A Star Wars Story': New footage reveals how it went down when Han met Lando," 24 Apr. 2018 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

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

12 Feb 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

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esteemed in general opinion

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