flo·​ri·​le·​gium | \ ˌflȯr-ə-ˈlē-j(ē-)əm How to pronounce florilegium (audio) \
plural florilegia\ ˌflȯr-​ə-​ˈlē-​j(ē-​)ə How to pronounce florilegium (audio) \

Definition of florilegium

: a volume of writings : anthology

Did you know?

Editors who compile florilegia (to use the plural form) can be thought of as gathering a bouquet of sweet literary blossoms. English speakers picked up florilegium from a New Latin word that derives from Latin florilegus, which can be translated as "culling flowers." In fact, florilegium initially applied to a collection of flowers, and later to books about flowers, but it wasn't long before the word began to be used for (as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it) "a collection of the flowers of literature." And florilegium isn't the only English collecting term with a floral heritage; its synonym anthology comes from the Greek word for "flower gathering."

Examples of florilegium in a Sentence

a florilegium of ancient alchemical writings

First Known Use of florilegium

1647, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for florilegium

borrowed from New Latin flōrilegium, from Latin flōrilegus "culling flowers" (from flōri- flori- + -legus, adjective derivative of legere "to gather, pick") + -ium, suffix of deverbal compounds (formed after Latin spīcilegium "gathering of stray ears of grain"); loan-translation of Greek anthología anthology — more at legend

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The first known use of florilegium was in 1647

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Cite this Entry

“Florilegium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/florilegium. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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