noun (1)
col·​um·​bine | \ ˈkä-ləm-ˌbīn How to pronounce columbine (audio) \

Definition of columbine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of a genus (Aquilegia) of plants of the buttercup family with irregular showy spurred flowers: such as
a : a red-flowered plant (A. canadensis) of eastern North America
b : a blue-flowered plant (A. caerulea) of the Rocky Mountains


noun (2)
Col·​um·​bine | \ ˈkä-ləm-ˌbīn How to pronounce Columbine (audio) , -ˌbēn \

Definition of Columbine (Entry 2 of 2)

: the saucy sweetheart of Harlequin in comedy and pantomime

Illustration of columbine

Illustration of columbine

Noun (1)

columbine a

In the meaning defined above

Examples of columbine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Or try native woodland wildflowers such as perennial lobelia, mayapple, columbine, thalictrum, amsonia, blood root, Solomon seal, and phlox. Real Estate, "Ask the Gardener: Tips for ridding your lawn of creeping Charlie," 21 Aug. 2019 An understory of spreading dogbane, yellow columbine, Richardson’s geranium, curly dock, wild roses and fragrant wild geranium grow profusely in damp slivers of space among roots, boulders and gigantic trees. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "This Flagstaff mountain hike surrounds you with summer wildflowers," 18 July 2019 The Pollinator Habitat Expansion Initiative involves mowing less and planting varieties of milkweed, clover, ironweed, wingstem, columbine, joe pye weed and two-leaved toothwort. USA TODAY, "Penal farm to produce farm, music under the sea: News from around our 50 states," 16 July 2019 Coni Sanders, whose father, Dave, a teacher, was killed in the attack, said that a floor tile with an image of the purple columbine flower lay near where her father had been shot. New York Times, "Columbine High School Could Be Torn Down to Deter Copycats," 7 June 2019 Situated in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, The Little Nell celebrates the beauty of the state by infusing the property with native plants (yarrows, daisies, and blue columbine to name a few) at every turn. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "8 of the Most Beautiful Hotel Gardens in North America," 2 Oct. 2018 Among flowers, good bets are breadseed or ladybird poppies, California poppies, foxglove, nigella, columbine, nicotiana, bachelor’s buttons, cosmos, coreopsis, calendula and scabiosa. Pam Peirce,, "The joy of seed saving," 6 July 2018 Regretfully some like the peonies, iris and columbine still do not grow locally but others do. Tom Maccubbin,, "Great flowers that need an early start," 11 May 2018 Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Want summer veggies? Get to work | The Sacramento Bee," 5 May 2018

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

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1719, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for columbine

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin columbina, from Latin, feminine of columbinus like a dove, from columba dove; akin to Old High German holuntar elder tree, Greek kolymbos a small grebe, kelainos black

Noun (2)

Italian Colombina

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Time Traveler for columbine

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The first known use of columbine was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Columbine.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for columbine


How to pronounce Columbine (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of columbine

: a plant that has flowers with five petals that are thin and pointed


col·​um·​bine | \ ˈkä-ləm-ˌbīn How to pronounce columbine (audio) \

Kids Definition of columbine

: a plant that has leaves with three parts and showy flowers usually with five petals that are thin and pointed

More from Merriam-Webster on columbine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with columbine Encyclopedia article about columbine

Comments on columbine

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to state or do over again or repeatedly

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