crocus

noun

cro·​cus ˈkrō-kəs How to pronounce crocus (audio)
plural crocuses
1
a
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

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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The crocus blooms from which these filaments are plucked each fall are contrasting light purple in hue. Hugh Garvey, Sunset Magazine, 26 Sep. 2022 Crocus Small but mighty crocus (Crocus sativus) is one of the first of several miniature bulbs to pop up in spring, and even late winter in warmer areas. Nicole Bradley, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Sep. 2022 Technically, a crocus comes from a corm not a bulb, but they are treated similarly. Nicole Bradley, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Sep. 2022 Purple crocus flowers bloomed in groves of holm oak, and broom shrubs burst with yellow blooms. Mary Winston Nicklin, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 There is lovely acidity and notable persistence (the finish is quite long), while there are subtle notes of basil and yellow crocus in the finish. Tom Hyland, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 But then, all its hope lies in Anne’s face, as uncompromising as an early crocus. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 6 May 2022 In other places, the transformation from winter to spring is noted by the bloom of the first crocus or the arrival of the first robin. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 9 Mar. 2022 At the base of Mount Karkom, named in Hebrew for a desert crocus, there is evidence that ancient migration trails converged here and that cultic rituals took place in the area. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near crocus

Cite this Entry

“Crocus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crocus. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

crocus

noun

cro·​cus ˈkrō-kəs How to pronounce crocus (audio)
plural crocuses
1
plural also crocus or croci -ˌkē How to pronounce crocus (audio)
-ˌkī,
-ˌsī
: any of a genus of small herbs that are related to the irises and have showy solitary long-tubed flowers and slender grasslike leaves
2

Medical Definition

crocus

noun

cro·​cus ˈkrō-kəs How to pronounce crocus (audio)
plural crocuses
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)
2

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