but·​ter·​cup | \ ˈbə-tər-ˌkəp How to pronounce buttercup (audio) \
plural buttercups

Definition of buttercup

: any of a large genus (Ranunculus of the family Ranunculaceae, the buttercup family) of chiefly perennial herbaceous plants having colorful cup-shaped flowers with 5 or sometimes many petals : ranunculus especially : a plant (such as R. acris and R. repens) with usually bright yellow, five-petaled flowers The flowers …, 1 1/2-in.-wide golden buttercups set atop a green topknot of fringy leaves, are very bright and cheery in the chill of March. — Aileen Detter Rodgers — compare crowfoot, spearwort

Examples of buttercup in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The second dress featured a print of buttercup flowers that faded from yellow to white — perfect for the spring weather. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Kate Middleton's Red Maternity Dress Is Perfect," 23 Apr. 2018 In any event, the prognosis is not a bowl of buttercups. Charles P. Pierce, SI.com, "Marcus Smart Continues to Give the Celtics Exactly What They Need," 14 May 2018 And, according to Human Rights Watch, the Qatari regime isn’t a bowl of buttercups to its own citizens, either. Charles P. Pierce, SI.com, "Why Tom Brady Has No Business Promoting Qatar," 25 Apr. 2018 The Duchess called on the same designer yet again for Princess Charlotte's birth in 2015, this time wearing a bespoke dress with buttercup flowers. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Kate Middleton's Maternity Dress Reminded People of Princess Diana," 23 Apr. 2018 The real treat is a trek through bald meadows on Fidalgo Island’s Sugarloaf Mountain, where hiking trails give views of spring gold, blue-eyed Marys, fawn lilies, Western buttercup, and red Indian paintbrush. Sunset, "Where to See Wildflowers This Season," 22 Jan. 2018 Of 50 wildflowers within short range of the nature center, highlights include buttercups, shooting stars and western wake robin. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Northern California hot spots for spring wildflowers," 12 Apr. 2018 Senior food editor Chris Morocco, this recipe’s creator, suggested lining a baking rack with red kuri, kabocha, buttercup, or whatever tough-skinned squash your heart desires. Ashley Mason, Bon Appetit, "Whole Roasting Is the Secret Best Way to Make Squash on a Weeknight," 2 Mar. 2018

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

1688, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for buttercup

The first known use of buttercup was in 1688

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More Definitions for buttercup



English Language Learners Definition of buttercup

: a wild plant that has small yellow flowers that are shaped like cups


but·​ter·​cup | \ ˈbə-tər-ˌkəp How to pronounce buttercup (audio) \

Kids Definition of buttercup

: a common wildflower with bright yellow blossoms

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More from Merriam-Webster on buttercup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with buttercup

Spanish Central: Translation of buttercup

Nglish: Translation of buttercup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about buttercup

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