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

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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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Butterfly pea blossoms are the flower of a plant related to peas and beans and native to South East Asia. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Empress 1908 Gin a colorful addition to your home bar," 20 May 2020 Scientists are studying genetic patterns on the flowers. Jun Michael Park, National Geographic, "There’s no earthquake to warn you, because you’re on the other side of the Indian Ocean.," 13 May 2020 Crocuses and early daffodils are up, soon to give way to later varieties, the delicate blue and white stars of puschkinia, to tulips, and then the flowers of early summer. Perdita Buchan, The Christian Science Monitor, "Two crises, two gardens," 13 May 2020 Reed McIlvaine of Renny & Reed did the flowers for one of the last weddings at the Breakers on Saturday. Amanda L Gordon, Bloomberg.com, "Billionaire Resort Mecca of Palm Beach Turns to Virtual Life," 13 May 2020 The hibiscus flowers brew into a rich inky magenta tea that makes all other iced tea seem watery and weak. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "Agua de Jamaica Is My Quarantine Apéritif," 12 May 2020 Most years, such a superbloom would trigger a rush of visitors, and most years, the public has to be reminded to tread lightly so as not to damage the flowers. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, "How to (Safely) View the Superbloom That Can Be Seen from Space," 11 May 2020 For a fee, a wedding planner could handle everything from the flowers to the vows. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, "How to get legally married during the coronavirus crisis," 8 May 2020 This past week was a Flower Pot Decorating contest to see which house could come up with the most creative way to decorate the potted flowers. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "New Avenues’ homes blossom with flowers from Petitti’s: Strong Points," 7 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Spreading thousands of seeds after flowering, biennial garlic mustard inspires ecological ire. Marie Viljoen/saveur, Popular Science, "Ten weeds you can eat," 19 Apr. 2020 Only certain amaryllis bulbs are most likely to flower in December. Karen Dardick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trumpet-shaped amaryllis is big, beautiful and easy to grow," 26 Sep. 2019 Just be sure to remove any covering once plants start to flower. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Growing Crisp Cucumbers," 12 July 2018 In Japan, hanami centers around cherry trees, which tend to flower in late March and early April, according to the National Trust. Jack Guy, CNN, "Charity urges people to share uplifting pictures of spring blossom," 27 Mar. 2020 Or there could be a few flowering branches cut from a tree or shrub in one’s yard, or bought at a green market, and arranged in a vase. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "How to Look Your Best on a Webcam," 25 Mar. 2020 Include herbs and flowers Include herbs in your garden, as close as possible to your kitchen door, and remember to include flowers such as cosmos, nasturtiums and sunflowers, as well as flowering herbs such as fennel and African basil. Los Angeles Times, "DIY: Plant a victory garden now and grow your own groceries," 16 Apr. 2020 Hundreds of flowering daffodils cover the northern hill of Chestnut Grove Cemetery on Lewis Road. cleveland, "Local family creates circuit training course at home during coronavirus pandemic: Olmsted Dates and Data," 13 Apr. 2020 The oaks started budding several weeks ago, and shortly thereafter the blooms started popping on many flowering bushes and wildflowers. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Hiking alone during coronavirus pandemic and shelter in place," 12 Apr. 2020

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.

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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

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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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Statistics for flower

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flower. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for flower


How to pronounce flower (audio)

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)

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