car·na·tion | \kär-ˈnā-shən \

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

Some students were carrying red carnations purchased from student government. New York Times, "‘Are We Going to Die Today?’ Inside a Parkland Classroom as Bullets Flew," 6 June 2018 Left along the Wall were tiny flags, carnations and a zip-top bag of popcorn. Michael Laris, Washington Post, "On Memorial Day in D.C., signs of respect and echoes of all that was lost," 28 May 2018 The candle offers head notes of bergamot and gardenia, heart notes of carnation, jasmine, and ylang-ylang, and base notes of lily and vanilla. Kelly Conaboy, The Cut, "The Perfect Candle for Lovers of Stickers and Romance," 22 June 2018 This is a photo of 3 carnations that our dear friends @majestyblack brought us tonight after our rehearsal and soundcheck. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Kat Von D's Incredible Wedding Dress Is Proof Brides Don't Have to Wear White," 3 June 2018 Mustard yellow, green and even carnation pink are popular choices. Temi Adebowale, House Beautiful, "Here's What 'The Simpsons' Living Room Would Look Like in the Real World," 10 July 2018 Patchett, who sports a Wu-Tang tattoo on her calf, clutched gold carnations Monday in a nod to the group’s logo. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Wu-Tang Clan closes out Movement with a festive bang — and fan wedding," 29 May 2018 Violet and carnation are the two florals, both of which have their own fans. Jesse Dart, Bon Appetit, "Pastiglie Leone: The Checkout Aisle Candies That Are Prettier Than the Rest," 20 June 2018 Then again, Burch knows a thing or two about florals: Her Fall 2018 runway was covered in green moss and pink carnations. Maria Ward, Vogue, "Tory Burch, Bottled: The Designer Hosts a Beautiful Dinner Party to Celebrate Her New Fragrance," 4 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for carnation

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for carnation

The first known use of carnation was circa 1535

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More Definitions for carnation



English Language Learners Definition of carnation

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


car·na·tion | \kär-ˈnā-shən \

Kids Definition of carnation

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

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Comments on carnation

What made you want to look up carnation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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