flow·​er | \ ˈflau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce flower (audio) \

Definition of flower

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the specialized part of an angiospermous plant that occurs singly or in clusters, possesses whorls of often colorful petals or sepals, and bears the reproductive structures (such as stamens or pistils) involved in the development of seeds and fruit : blossom
b : a cluster of small flowers growing closely together that resembles and is often viewed as a single flower : inflorescence a hydrangea flower
c : a plant grown or valued for its flowers planted flowers in the front yard
d : a cut stem of a plant with its flower a bouquet of flowers
e : bloom entry 2 sense 1b lilacs in full flower
2a : the best part or example the flower of our youth
b : the finest most vigorous period wasted the flower of their lives
c : a state of blooming or flourishing in full flower
3 flowers plural : a finely divided powder produced especially by condensation or sublimation flowers of sulfur


flowered; flowering; flowers

Definition of flower (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : develop flowered into young womanhood
2 : to produce flowers : blossom

transitive verb

1 : to cause to bear flowers
2 : to decorate with flowers or floral designs

Illustration of flower

Illustration of flower


cross section of flower 1b: 1 filament, 2 anther, 3 stigma, 4 style, 5 petal, 6 ovary, 7 sepal, 8 pedicel, 9 stamen, 10 pistil, 11 perianth

In the meaning defined above

Other Words from flower


flowered \ ˈflau̇(-​ə)rd How to pronounce flower (audio) \ adjective
flowerful \ ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​fəl How to pronounce flower (audio) \ adjective
flowerless \ ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​ləs How to pronounce flower (audio) \ adjective
flowerlike \ ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​ˌlīk How to pronounce flower (audio) \ adjective


flowerer \ ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​ər How to pronounce flower (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for flower

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of flower in a Sentence

Noun We planted flowers in the garden. He sent her a bouquet of flowers. He wore a single flower in his lapel. Verb This tree flowers in early spring. The plant will flower every other year. His genius flowered at the university. a political movement that began to flower during the 1960s See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Loose cushions, too, complicate a flower-laden form. Yelena Moroz Alpert, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 The flower arrangements with the carnations were trying to evoke that period. Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2022 Typically that process begins with tapping into your wedding planning, such as what your flower arrangements will be. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 8 Apr. 2022 There are even more ways to help support flower arrangements, including floral frogs, chicken wire, and decorative stones or beads in the vase. Mackenzie Nichols, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Apr. 2022 All displayed artworks will be accompanied by fresh flower arrangements prepared by the Hopkinton Garden Club. Globe Correspondent, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Mar. 2022 Located in Mentor, Merkels Floral Studio is committed to creating beautiful flower arrangements and floral gifts for any occasion. Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland, 7 Feb. 2022 Florist Chelsi Hunsaker has created flower arrangements for the evening, which range from $25 to $50. Stefene Russell, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Feb. 2022 Lean into tradition with reliable wins—luxe candles, flower arrangements, and high-quality skin care—or go the unconventional route with offbeat gifts your boo can enjoy year-round. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 20 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Led by Alexander, participants on the Wildflower Walk will search out and identify Freja Park ephemeral wildflowers, the perennials which flower in spring, then go dormant by mid-summer. Hartford Courant, 14 Apr. 2022 When these are trimmed too early, the buds on old wood are still sacrificed, but the plant can flower on new wood later in the season. Miri Talabac, baltimoresun.com, 2 Mar. 2022 Roses continue to grow and flower during warm days of fall and winter. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 4 Dec. 2021 These will flower eventually, if kept a bit root-bound. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Dec. 2021 So showcases like Ventana Sur’s SoloSeries are likely to flower in the next few years. John Hopewell, Variety, 1 Dec. 2021 But its terrible, pungent odor -- akin to rotting flesh -- helps gardeners predict when the plant will flower, which according to the release, happens in two stages: the female bloom phase and the male bloom phase. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 28 Oct. 2021 Osoberry, or Indian plum, is the first of the native Pacific Northwest shrubs to leaf out and flower in the spring. oregonlive, 27 Aug. 2021 The tall, spherical alliums are among the most architectural forms in the garden and should be interspersed among other perennials or ground covers in a way that gives each stem and flower its own space to be admired. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flower.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of flower


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for flower


Middle English flour, flur "blossom of a plant, prime of life, best of a class, ground grain free of bran," borrowed from Anglo-French flour, flur (also continental Old French), going back to Latin flōr-, flōs "flower, bloom, flourishing condition, choicest part, best of a class," going back to Indo-European *bhleh3-os, s-stem derivative from the verbal base *bhleh3- "bloom, break into flower" — more at blow entry 3


Middle English flouren "(of a plant) to blossom, to bloom, be vigourous," derivative of flour, flur flour entry 1

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Time Traveler for flower

Time Traveler

The first known use of flower was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near flower

flow diagram



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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flower. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for flower


flow·​er | \ ˈflau̇-ər How to pronounce flower (audio) \

Kids Definition of flower

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a plant part that produces seed
2 : a small plant grown chiefly for its showy flowers
3 : the state of bearing flowers in full flower
4 : the best part or example in the flower of youth

Other Words from flower

flowered \ -​ərd \ adjective
flowerless \ -​ər-​ləs \ adjective


flowered; flowering

Kids Definition of flower (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on flower

Nglish: Translation of flower for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flower for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flower


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