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 croci (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

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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

Turning your attention to the flower beds, now is the time to plant fall blooming bulbs such as crocus and lycoris. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Bay Area gardening: Saying goodbye to summer," 8 Aug. 2019 On Mount Vernon Avenue, black-power and MLK posters bloomed like crocuses in the spring sunshine. David M. Shribman, WSJ, "‘Tigerland’ Review: Playing the Game Their Way," 18 Jan. 2019 Inspired by his favorite spring flowers, creator Christopher Brosius designed this fragrance with the essences of hyacinth, daffodil, crocus, and tulip, and the absolutes of narcissus and jonquil. Evelyn Crowley, Vogue, "Why Fragrance Water Is the Perfume World’s New Obsession," 11 Aug. 2018 The first flower colors have appeared — the white of snowdrops, the yellow of witch hazel, the electric blue of scilla, the purple of the earliest crocuses. Beth Botts,, "Mind your mulch: Here's how to get your garden ready for the rush of spring," 21 Mar. 2018 Humans, crocuses and daffodils alike with sun and warmth can keep their heads up! Maria Shine Stewart,, "Float over some drab days with song and hope: Sun Messages," 8 Apr. 2018 Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses have broken through, along with the blossoms of magnolia trees and crabapple trees, once again creating a palate of color. Chuck Crow,, "Lake View Cemetery's Daffodil Hill finally in full splendor (photos)," 6 May 2018 These are the daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinths sold ready to bloom in garden centers, grocery stores and other retailers. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Ornamental pear trees bad for environment," 20 Apr. 2018 Spring in France is protest season, and manifs (demos) sprout in the warmer weather like crocuses. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron faces a wave of strikes and protests in France," 14 Apr. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for crocus

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for crocus

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

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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 croci (audio)\ : any of a large genus (Crocus) of perennial herbs of the iris family (Iridaceae)

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More from Merriam-Webster on crocus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crocus

Spanish Central: Translation of crocus

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

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a usually brief trip or an expedition

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