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.

Examples of crocus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Editors’ Picks Orangutan, Heal Thyself 5 Spring Flowers Daffodils and tulips and lilac and crocuses, and that incredible first green. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, 4 May 2024 Each spring, the front of our home is lined with lilacs, crocuses, and peonies. Tik Root, WIRED, 30 Mar. 2024 And if Russians are willing to die quietly in ‘crocuses’ and not question their special services, Putin will try to exploit more of these situations for personal power. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 24 Mar. 2024 Saffron, used as a flavoring in Mediterranean cooking, is harvested from the stigmas of a type of fall-blooming crocus, Crocus sativus. Deb Wiley, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Feb. 2024 All types of crocuses look best when planted in masses. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 7 Sep. 2023 Candidates include crocus, glory-of-the-snow (chionodoxa), Siberian squill (scilla siberica), winter aconite (eranthis), reticulated iris(), and snowdrops (). Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 7 Sep. 2023 The décor is classic and refined, with a botanical theme running throughout; in and amongst Berkshire landscapes and portraits of Lady Astor are watercolor illustrations of crocuses and hyacinths, while rooms have been filled with ferns in a nod to Victorian pteridomania. Hayley Maitland, Vogue, 13 Sep. 2023 Many bulbs, such as tulips and crocuses, are especially tasty to hungry rodents. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 7 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crocus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 Jun. 2024.

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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