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 This candle has beautiful notes of hyacinth, plum, violet leaf, pink rose, geranium, carnation, peony, and violet. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 For $2, students and staff were able to purchase a carnation, as well as a paper shamrock to write a message of encouragement for Ukraine. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 7 Apr. 2022 Florists might hawk huge Mother's Day bouquets with exotic blooms and designer names, but the traditional gift is a single, simple carnation. Jamie Ballard, Woman's Day, 18 Mar. 2022 Translation: carnation ‘Spooky’, Cosmos ‘Lemonade’, and viola ‘Cats White,’ among others, will be right up my alley. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 9 Feb. 2022 Ohio can thank superstitious President William McKinley for its state flower: the scarlet carnation. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 24 Dec. 2021 Veterans in attendance were recognized and received a carnation donated by Pawlaks Florist. John Benson, cleveland, 15 Nov. 2021 The two women, Wu in her trademark navy blue and Essaibi George in a carnation-pink blazer, did not make eye contact as the meeting got underway., 4 Nov. 2021 Four best-in-class performers — carnation (Dianthus), African daisy (Osteospermum and Arctotis) and trailing lantana — are perfect choices for water-wise ground covers. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of carnation was circa 1535

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Last Updated

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Carnation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for carnation


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

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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