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 Schneider opted for a rose flower crown while Davis wore a similar style in white. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 28 Sep. 2022 In the pictures, both beaming brides can be seen wearing white dresses and flower crowns. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2022 San Diego Musical Theatre present this off-Broadway doowop horror spoof about a skid row flower shop clerk who discovers a unique houseplant that thrives on human blood. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Sep. 2022 Grocery stores, gas stations, everybody is in the flower business. Angela Denk, Chicago Tribune, 28 Sep. 2022 Tables set up to accept flower tributes from the public near the funeral site drew a large crowd, with wait times reaching up to two hours in the morning before the funeral, according to the country’s public broadcaster NHK. Arata Yamamoto, NBC News, 27 Sep. 2022 Hours before the ceremony began, dozens of people carrying bouquets of flowers queued at public flower-laying stands at nearby Kudanzaka park. Mari Yamaguchi, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Sep. 2022 And three days after the attack, photos show the little girl lying with a flower crown on her head and some of her favorite toys crowded at her feet in the open casket. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2022 Channel your best flower power in this groovy '60s costume — and don't forget to complete the look with a flower crown. Cameron Jenkins, Good Housekeeping, 11 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The effort was launched in July 2020, showing what can flower when neighbors unite. Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2022 Nutsedge will flower and produce seeds when not mowed, but the seeds generally do not germinate. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 20 Aug. 2022 The plant may flower in winter in milder climates, but it's generally considered an annual. Terri Robertson, Country Living, 1 Aug. 2022 Yarrow looks beautiful in a lawn, Breece added, but doesn’t flower well at short heights. oregonlive, 18 July 2022 Only plants still in bloom or expected to flower shortly like hydrangeas, bougainvillea, gardenias and similar would not be pruned until later in the year. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 19 Feb. 2022 The herbaceous peony needs a period of winter chilling (temperatures below freezing) to flower well. Sunset Magazine, 13 July 2022 When temperatures rise consistently above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, most plants may continue to flower but fail to produce fruits. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 4 June 2022 And yet Mungo, more than any other Stuart protagonist, is given the opportunity to choose love — a kind that might open and flower into ordinary flourishing, not the variety that immortalizes in the face of inevitable doom. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2022 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

2 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flower. Accessed 2 Oct. 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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