cro·​cus | \ ˈkrō-kəs How to pronounce crocus (audio) \
plural crocuses

Definition of crocus

1a plural also crocus or croci\ ˈkrō-​ˌkē How to pronounce crocus (audio) , -​ˌkī , -​ˌsī \ : any of a genus (Crocus) of herbs of the iris family developing from corms and having solitary long-tubed flowers and slender linear leaves
2 : a dark red ferric oxide used for polishing metals

Keep scrolling for more

Did you know?

A low-growing plant with a corm, the crocus belongs to the iris family. There are about 75 species of crocus. They are native to the Alps, southern Europe, and the Mediterranean and are widely grown for their cuplike blooms in early spring or fall. The spring-flowering sorts have a floral tube so long that the ovary is below ground, sheltered from climatic changes. Saffron comes from a species of crocus that is native to western Asia. The alpine crocus is the chief ancestor of the common garden crocus.

Examples of crocus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Early autumn opens the window for planting spring-blooming bulbs: tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinth plus lesser-used species like fritillary, alliums, camassia, and windflower. Miri Talabac,, 1 Sep. 2021 The most important bulbs for pollinators are the earliest: tiny crocus, snowdrops, and eranthus planted in drifts., 15 Aug. 2021 Use spider lilies, fall crocus, fall amaryllis, mums and asters for later flowers. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 26 July 2021 These tiny striped rodents love to feast on spring flowering bulbs such as tulip and crocus bulbs, as anyone who's lost a whole garden bed of them can verify. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, 18 May 2021 In the fall they were augmented with crocus for a bit of an Easter show. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 7 May 2021 The great reward of my Sunday walk came from my spotting the first purple crocus in my field of vision on none other than Professor Road. cleveland, 22 Mar. 2021 Visitors can track down flowers throughout the year, like crocus and squill, which bloom in March. Cameron Walker, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2021 The crocus of hope must be a rare summer-flowering variety. The Economist, 27 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crocus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of crocus

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for crocus

Middle English, the saffron plant, from Latin, from Greek krokos, of Semitic origin; akin to Akkadian kurkānū saffron

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About crocus

Time Traveler for crocus

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near crocus

croconic acid


crocus cloth

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for crocus

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crocus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crocus



English Language Learners Definition of crocus

: a small purple, yellow, or white flower that blooms in the early spring


cro·​cus | \ ˈkrō-kəs How to pronounce crocus (audio) \

Kids Definition of crocus

: a small plant having grasslike leaves and colorful flowers that bloom in the spring


cro·​cus | \ ˈkrō-kəs How to pronounce crocus (audio) \
plural crocuses

Medical Definition of crocus

1 plural also crocus or croci\ -​ˌkē, -​ˌkī, -​ˌsī How to pronounce crocus (audio) \ : any of a large genus (Crocus) of perennial herbs of the iris family (Iridaceae)

More from Merriam-Webster on crocus

Nglish: Translation of crocus for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about crocus


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!