often attributive
: any of a genus (Linum of the family Linaceae, the flax family) of herbs
especially : a slender erect annual (L. usitatissimum) with blue flowers commonly cultivated for its bast fiber and seed
: the fiber of the flax plant especially when prepared for spinning
: any of several plants resembling flax
flaxy adjective

Examples of flax in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The set is made in Portugal from European flax linen; it’s stonewashed and has a rustic handmade look. Lisa Lombardi, wsj.com, 25 Sep. 2023 The flax fiber panels are colorful and full of texture, and vegan fabrics cover a long-time Volvo hallmark: super comfy seats. Steven Ewing, Ars Technica, 6 Nov. 2023 Some of the earliest cultivar plants, like flax, were likely used primarily to make clothes. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Oct. 2023 Flaxseeds are small edible seeds from the North American flax plant scientifically known as Linum usitatissimum. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Rd, Health, 25 Aug. 2023 Strawberry Banana Shake Adding ground flax to this classic protein shake provides you with extra fiber and heart-healthy omega-3 fats, St. Pierre says. Paul Kita, Men's Health, 18 Aug. 2023 When the heat index rises, there really is no better fabric to put on than linen, a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Chadner Navarro, Condé Nast Traveler, 31 July 2023 The shoe is made of leather and has a small piece of flax or linen still attached, which archaeologists suspect once served as a shoelace. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Sep. 2023 The remnants of the shoe’s lacing found preserved were likely made of flax or linen, according to the release. Amarachi Orie, CNN, 20 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Old English fleax; akin to Old High German flahs flax, Latin plectere to braid — more at ply

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flax was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near flax

Cite this Entry

“Flax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flax. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a slender plant with blue flowers that is grown for its fiber from which linen is made and for its seed from which oil and livestock feed are obtained
also : its fiber

More from Merriam-Webster on flax

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