noun (1)
daph·​ne | \ ˈdaf-nē How to pronounce daphne (audio) \

Definition of daphne

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of a genus (Daphne) of Eurasian shrubs of the mezereon family with apetalous flowers whose colored calyx resembles a corolla


noun (2)
Daph·​ne | \ ˈdaf-nē How to pronounce Daphne (audio) \

Definition of Daphne (Entry 2 of 2)

: a nymph in Greek mythology who is transformed into a laurel tree to escape the pursuing Apollo

Examples of daphne in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are so many winter fragrant shrubs worth a look — and sniff Deciduous, somewhat tropical looking daphne relative Chinese paper bush (edgeworthia), which makes a fine border companion with later blooming rhododendrons. oregonlive, "These sweet-smelling winter shrubs chase away the January blues," 30 Jan. 2020 Roger, Eric, and Marjory Gossler of Gossler Farms Nursery in Springfield are collectively familiar with some 6,000 plant varieties, including several dozen daphne cultivars. oregonlive, "These sweet-smelling winter shrubs chase away the January blues," 30 Jan. 2020 No garden should be without hellebores or a daphne or two, winterberry hollies and witch hazels. Washington Post, "The winter garden is full of promise and productivity. Don’t let it go to waste.," 20 Nov. 2019 These include forsythias, silver sagebrush (Artemisia cana), white forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum), winter daphnes, winter jasmine, and witch hazels. Thad Orr, Sunset, "Your Essential Gardening To-Do List for April," 22 Jan. 2018 Here, the space is enveloped by a small shade garden planted as a ring of hostas, ferns, daphne and a massive jasmine plant. Amy Pennington, The Seattle Times, "A couple’s Rainier Beach garden is a place of creativity, vision and function," 19 May 2019 Pieris, rosemary, lavender and Daphne odora and other winter daphne are also low-maintenance. OregonLive.com, "When to prune shrubs, and when to put down the clippers," 24 Feb. 2018

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

Noun (1)

circa 1841, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for daphne

Noun (1)

New Latin, genus name, from Latin, laurel, from Greek daphnē

Noun (2)

Latin, from Greek Daphnē

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Time Traveler for daphne

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The first known use of daphne was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Daphne.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/daphne. Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for daphne


daph·​ne | \ ˈdaf-(ˌ)nē How to pronounce daphne (audio) \

Medical Definition of daphne

1 capitalized : a genus of Eurasian shrubs (family Thymelaeaceae) that have often fragrant flowers without petals and that include the mezereon
2 : a plant of the genus Daphne

More from Merriam-Webster on daphne

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about daphne

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