flower

1 of 2

noun

flow·​er ˈflau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce flower (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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 adjective
flowerful adjective
flowerless adjective
flowerlike adjective

Illustration of flower

Illustration of flower
  • 1 filament
  • 2 anther
  • 3 stigma
  • 4 style
  • 5 petal
  • 6 ovary
  • 7 sepal
  • 8 pedicel
  • 9 stamen
  • 10 pistil
  • 11 perianth

flower

2 of 2

verb

flowered; flowering; flowers

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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
flowerer noun

Example Sentences

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
California's Coachella Valley is readying itself for another invasion of flower crowns and pop superstars with the announcement of this year's headliners. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 10 Jan. 2023 Lavender flower crowns are the ultimate arts and crafts activity. Karen Cicero, Good Housekeeping, 19 Dec. 2022 Lily reached into a shopping bag and pulled out three flower crowns. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2022 But as in years past at the festival, kids lined up excitedly to recite poetry in stumbling Ukrainian and dance in bright red leather boots, velvet red vests and flower crowns of pink and blue, gold and green. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2022 Many wore elaborate flower crowns on their heads and traditional Ukrainian vyshyvanka—embroidered shirts or dresses—in an assortment of colors. Andrea Stanley, The Atlantic, 30 Aug. 2022 Some women wore black funeral attire and sported flower crowns. Reuters, NBC News, 20 Aug. 2022 Hambro, then 5, and Cameron, 6, were the youngest of the group, and also wore flower crowns to match their bouquets. Nicole Briese, Peoplemag, 12 Aug. 2022 The hourslong affair began with a nonlegal, symbolic ceremony, before which event staff handed out bouquets and flower crowns to some revelers, while others got henna tattoos and posed for photographs under rainbow streamers and treetop lanterns. New York Times, 26 July 2022
Verb
This thoughtful gift should continue to flower for years. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 21 Jan. 2023 Short days and cool nights signal the plant to produce blossoms at the end of each stem, which then flower in shades of pink and red, depending on the variety. Susan Brownstein, cleveland, 20 Dec. 2022 The plant blooms heaviest in fall but can flower sporadically year-round. Viveka Neveln, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Nov. 2022 Examples of shrubs that flower on new growth include crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia species), beauty berry (Callicarpa species) and butterfly bush (Buddleia species). Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 22 Oct. 2022 Many summer-blooming shrubs set their flowers on the current season’s growth so they can be pruned heavily in winter and will usually still flower the following summer. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 22 Oct. 2022 The good news, however, is new plants, called pups, can form at the base to flower in not a century, but about 10 or so years. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 10 Sep. 2022 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 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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near flower

Cite this Entry

“Flower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flower. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

flower

1 of 2 noun
flow·​er ˈflau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce flower (audio)
1
a
: a specialized plant part that occurs singly or in clusters, possesses often colorful petals or sepals, and bears reproductive organs 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
d
: a cut stem of a plant with its flower
a bouquet of flowers
2
: the best part or example
in the flower of his youth
flowerless adjective
flowerlike adjective

flower

2 of 2 verb
1
: to produce flowers : bloom
2

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