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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Last May, flower vendors in Los Angeles were granted permission to offer retail curbside pickup just days before the holiday. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "A flower shortage is driving up costs for a Mother’s Day of post-COVID-19 reunions," 8 May 2021 The real beneficiaries of tulip mania were, perhaps, the flower painters. Jessi Jezewska Stevens, The New Yorker, "Flowers Are the Ultimate Symbols," 8 May 2021 Alongside national grocery and retail chains are taquerias, flower shops and local stores, many with signs in Spanish. Rebecca Morin, USA Today, "Rep. Henry Cuellar, one of Biden's harshest critics on the migrant surge, is urging White House to listen to border towns," 8 May 2021 Expect aromas of rose petal and white flower with red fruit flavors on the palate. Rachel King, Fortune, "Why you need to consider more than just one shade of rosé," 8 May 2021 The women of the first Mother's Day wore a red flower. Tess Taylor, CNN, "I am ready for a new kind of Mother's Day," 7 May 2021 The theme for the event is flowers, and Martinez said there is a flower for every occasion. Stephanie García, baltimoresun.com, "Paintings, jewelry, salsa dancing and more: Mother’s Day market this Saturday showcases Latino artists," 7 May 2021 Another showy flower for the shade is the whopper begonia. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "Your guide to controlling summer weeds in San Antonio gardens," 7 May 2021 Peonies are also the traditional flower for 12th wedding anniversaries. Viveka Neveln, Better Homes & Gardens, "6 Fascinating Facts About Peonies That Will Make You Love Their Gorgeous Flowers Even More," 7 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As the bulbs form and grow several inches in diameter, they can be moved to a final location to flower in about three years. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "It’s difficult to determine what hybrid tomato plant seeds will produce," 1 May 2021 Hellebores that are planted in late spring and will likely not flower until next spring. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Spring-blooming hellebores are easy to grow in gardens," 10 Apr. 2021 Portland’s parks and gardens will continue to flower magnificently over the course of the season, offering locals a chance to get outside and take in a fresh splash of color. oregonlive, "Signs of spring bloom at Portland’s parks and gardens," 24 Mar. 2021 Indoor bird of paradise plants rarely flower (like, maybe never!). Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "Bird of Paradise Plant Care Tips So It Can Thrive in Your Home," 18 Mar. 2021 Other invasive plants may flower earlier in the season or grow more quickly. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "These 5 plants invasive to Indiana might be in your backyard. Here's what you need to know.," 15 Mar. 2021 With luck, your Easter lily will flower next spring or summer, which is its normal bloom time. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "Easter Lily Care Tips to Keep Them Looking Beautiful," 1 Mar. 2021 If started now, and pinched back, these will flower early and more prolifically. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "You waited too long to start seedlings indoors? Here’s what to do instead.," 4 Feb. 2021 And the survivors set the foundation for life to flower again the way a forest can be refreshed by fire. Riley Black, Scientific American, "Earth’s Biodiversity Bursts Do Not Follow Expected Pattern," 14 Jan. 2021

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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flower. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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)

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