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 In the spring, a carnation grows on the spot where his body lies. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "The Italian Genius Who Mixed Marxism and Children’s Literature," 7 Dec. 2020 Morin inverted that image but kept the playfulness between the mother and child in their handling of a symbolic carnation. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Art and Artistry of Mother and Child," 8 May 2020 One of the oldest is a 17th-century etching of the Madonna with the Christ child on her lap holding a carnation. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Art and Artistry of Mother and Child," 8 May 2020 National Geographic reports that the white carnation has always been the official bloom of the holiday. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "When Is Mother's Day in 2020? Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Holiday," 24 Apr. 2020 Floral Embrace This bouquet includes an arrangement of roses, sunflowers, carnations, lilies and Peruvian lilies. NBC News, "16 Best flower bouquets available for delivery Mother's Day 2020," 1 May 2020 Finally, layer in a few miniature carnations, which will serve as the texture flowers. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "5 DIY Floral Bouquets to Make for Every Spring Occasion," 13 Apr. 2020 While Colombia and Ecuador dominate the market for bouquet mainstays such as carnations, chrysanthemums, gerbera and roses, California growers shifted to species that can’t be grown in the cool upland valleys of the Andes. Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus hit California’s cut-flower industry at the worst time," 4 Apr. 2020 At the memorial in Evergreen Park, participants lined up to approach the gravesite individually, each leaving a pink or blue carnation at the headstone. Angie Leventis Lourgos,, "Honoring 'the unborn.’ Abortion opponents hold memorials at fetal burial sites amid national battles over how these remains should be treated.," 20 Sep. 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

13 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carnation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of carnation for Spanish Speakers

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

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