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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from flower


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


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

Synonyms for flower

Synonyms: Noun

bloom, blossom

Synonyms: Verb

bloom, blossom, blow, burgeon (also bourgeon), effloresce, unfold

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of flower in a Sentence


We planted flowers in the garden. He sent her a bouquet of flowers. He wore a single flower in his lapel.


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

In her lighthearted watercolor, gouache and ink drawings, a menagerie of foxes, hedgehogs, turkeys and other woodland creatures share the canvas with smatterings of flowers and leaves. Washington Post, "RIGHT AT HOME: The look of hand-drawn art is hot in decor," 18 Sep. 2019 According to CBS News, Dulce Maria Alavez was wearing brown pants with flowers and butterflies, a pink-colored shirt with long sleeves and white dress shoes. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Authorities Searching for New Jersey 5-Year-Old Who Vanished From Playground," 17 Sep. 2019 These times are before growth begins and then at the end of the warm season after the palms flower and older leaves decline. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Fungus causes leaf drop in crape myrtles," 14 Sep. 2019 Others leave flowers and votive candles at a colorful, makeshift altar. Kori Rumore, chicagotribune.com, "Nine times people in Chicago saw the Virgin Mary: 'A sort of tangible, visible encounter with the divine'," 12 Sep. 2019 In Colombia Venezuelans ease labour shortages in the flower and coffee industries. The Economist, "Millions of refugees from Venezuela are straining neighbours’ hospitality," 12 Sep. 2019 In her spare time, Ceres enjoyed tending to the flower and vegetable gardens around her home and cooking traditional West Indian dishes for her family and friends. courant.com, "Ceres Millicent Surgeon," 10 Sep. 2019 Relatives and friends of Casiano-Ventura attended a prayer last week, where her portrait was surrounded by flowers and candles. Pete Grieve, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland woman killed by stray bullet was a street vendor remembered for her tamales," 10 Sep. 2019 One of the exits of the subway station has even been turned into a memorial wall with flowers and messages of support. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Hong Kong protesters threaten new airport disruptions after street clashes with police," 7 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Within a couple of years, the flowering vacant lots around us were fenced off and slated for development. Giulia Pines, Curbed, "The dark side of living in a unique historic home," 1 Aug. 2019 The flowering evergreens that can tower to 85 feet comprise 80 percent of the state’s canopy, covering 1 million acres, and its nectar sustains birds and insects found nowhere else on Earth. NBC News, "Sacred Hawaiian tree species threatened by deadly fungus; tourists can help save it," 30 June 2019 The dogwood responds by flowering profusely (spreading even more seeds) and by putting out new shoots from the roots, from the lower trunk and from the canopy. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "I let my plants tell me where they want to live," 29 June 2019 Without lions, grasses won’t flower, migrations won’t be compelled to happen, and herds, more stationary, will pick up parasites. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "How the New Lion King Film Could Help the Real-Life Lion Crisis," 1 Aug. 2019 And many that might not have done so well under past conditions are flowering better this year. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Do these two things to make your Alaska garden look amazing right now," 25 July 2019 For example, Granny Smith apple trees are flowering approximately four days earlier for each 1°C increase in temperature in Poland. Jennifer Fitchett, Quartz Africa, "These scientists tracked South Africa’s sardine run over 66 years," 4 Aug. 2019 All of these crops will flower faster in warm weather. Pam Peirce, SFChronicle.com, "It’s time for midsummer harvesting: Use it or lose it," 2 Aug. 2019 Country music may have flowered in the U.S., but its roots–including fiddle tunes and ballads from the British Isles, many of them songs about lost loves and premature death–lie on the other side of an ocean. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Country Music Crosses the Pond in Wild Rose," 20 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Noun and Verb

Middle English flour flower, best of anything, flour, from Anglo-French flur, flour, flaur, from Latin flor-, flos — more at blow

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flower



English Language Learners Definition of flower

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of a plant that is often brightly colored, that usually lasts a short time, and from which the seed or fruit develops
: a small plant that is grown for its beautiful flowers
: a cut stem of a plant with its flower



English Language Learners Definition of flower (Entry 2 of 2)

: to produce flowers
: to develop or grow in a successful way


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)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on flower

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flower

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flower

Spanish Central: Translation of flower

Nglish: Translation of flower for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flower for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flower

Comments on flower

What made you want to look up flower? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!