car·​na·​tion | \ kär-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce carnation (audio) \

Definition of carnation

1 : a plant of any of numerous often cultivated and usually double-flowered varieties or subspecies of an Old World pink (Dianthus caryophyllus) found in many color variations
2 : a moderate red
3 archaic : the variable color of human flesh

Examples of carnation in a Sentence

The groom wore a carnation in his buttonhole.
Recent Examples on the Web Orchid, rose and carnation centerpieces arranged to mimic the flower festivals of Colombia rivaled the sprawl of vibrant gowns that filled MFAH's Cullinan Hall. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Colombia-inspired Latin American Experience Weekend raises $1.675 million for Museum of Fine Arts," 4 Nov. 2019 Philodendron headdresses, baby’s breath veils, a velvety moss bodice, a carnation gown. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Fashion-Inspired Flower Showcase Comes to Hudson Yards," 25 Oct. 2019 One of the walls was taken up by the crypts of Che’s fellow guerrillas who died with him in Bolivia, each one remembered with a red carnation, replaced daily. Lisette Poole, Smithsonian, "Roaring Through Cuba With Che Guevara’s Son," 24 Oct. 2019 Bernal’s father, Germán, used to work as a security guard, while his mother, Flor Marina, worked picking carnations in the fields that dot the savanna in the outskirts of the Colombian capital. Sinar Alvarado, New York Times, "The Colombian Who Made History at the Tour de France," 30 July 2019 Lafferty said the Radebaugh family plans to decorate its float with red and white carnations in the shape of an American flag. Libby Solomon,, "March on: Quest tries to pinpoint age of Towson Fourth of July parade," 2 July 2019 To see the white gloves the funeral director wanted to use to cover her bruised, cut hands, and the pink carnations in her nest of dark hair. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Family clings to hope in an unsolved murder nearly 40 years old," 3 May 2015 Her left hand, wrapped up in orange and red fabric like a carnation, glides across the railing. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Making of Tomo Koizumi’s NYFW Debut," 9 Feb. 2019 Multiple officers at the funeral carried carnations, WSBT reported. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Indiana police attended the memorial for a toddler who fell from a cruise ship window," 16 July 2019

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

circa 1535, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for carnation

Middle French, from Old Italian carnagione, from carne flesh, from Latin carn-, caro

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Time Traveler for carnation

Time Traveler

The first known use of carnation was circa 1535

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Statistics for carnation

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Carnation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for carnation


How to pronounce carnation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of carnation

: a pink, white, yellow, or red flower that has a sweet smell


car·​na·​tion | \ kär-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce carnation (audio) \

Kids Definition of carnation

: a fragrant usually white, pink, or red garden or greenhouse flower

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More from Merriam-Webster on carnation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carnation

Spanish Central: Translation of carnation

Nglish: Translation of carnation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of carnation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about carnation

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