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 Other flowers that went on to flourish in the mid-Cretaceous looked similar to magnolias, buttercups, and laurels (but were also nothing like them). Jess Romeo, Popular Science, "To remain hidden, these beetles sparkle like jewels," 15 Nov. 2019 Melania Trump wore a buttercup-yellow dress with a floor-length cape dropping from her shoulders and faced with magenta-colored material. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Trump, first lady mingle with the queen and royal family members," 3 Dec. 2019 Each had an entirely different look, however: After welcoming Charlotte in May 2015, the Duchess donned a buttercup-print dress with 3/4-length sleeves. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "How Meghan Markle's Maternity Dress Today Reminded Fans of Kate Middleton," 8 May 2019 Some of the wildflowers were familiar — clover, buttercups, daisies, wild carrot. Washington Post, "Exploring the rich grasslands, meadows and wildflowers of Scotland’s Western Isles," 18 Oct. 2019 Some of the wildflowers were familiar - clover, buttercups, daisies, wild carrot. Adrian Higgins, chicagotribune.com, "Exploring the wild beauty of Scotland’s Western Isles," 18 Oct. 2019 Located on Goat Island, the buttercup yellow-colored hotel houses all the amenities for a super cushy stay. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Out of Things to Do in Montauk? Head to Newport, Rhode Island," 31 Aug. 2019 Kitchenaid’s buttercup yellow mixer is a softer version of the hue, while Chantal’s sunny yellow Anniversary tea kettle is a waker-upper. Kim Cook, Houston Chronicle, "Hello, yellow! Home decor’s upbeat hue should be used right," 12 July 2019 One of the most conspicuous heralds is a bonny buttercup named the winter aconite. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "As summer’s heat wanes, it’s time to plan (and plant) for late-winter beauty," 4 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of buttercup was in 1688

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Statistics for buttercup

Last Updated

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Buttercup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buttercup. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for buttercup


How to pronounce buttercup (audio)

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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