flow·​er | \ˈflau̇(-ə)r \

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

b : flourish sense 2

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 \ adjective
flowerful \ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​fəl \ adjective
flowerless \ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​ləs \ adjective
flowerlike \ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​ˌlīk \ adjective


flowerer \ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for flower

Synonyms: Noun

bloom, blossom

Synonyms: Verb

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The first stop on a national tour, the exhibit will cover around 50 paintings, watercolors, prints, and drawings collected in one place for the first time. Don't expect flowers and Southwestern motifs. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Dallas in November 2018," 12 Nov. 2018 Some of the room’s furnishings continued the theme, such as a sofa upholstered in frosty Lee Jofa flowers and a rattan chandelier. Sara Ruffin Costello, ELLE Decor, "A New Orleans Manse is Given New Life with a Fashionable Pizzazz," 26 Oct. 2018 The carrots ended up with all the other gifts the royal couple received, including flowers and a giant teddy bear. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Had the Funniest Reaction to Receiving Carrots During the Royal Tour," 19 Oct. 2018 But that all changed Wednesday, when Prince Harry spotted 6-year-old Annie in the crowd, holding a bouquet of flowers and a toy tiara. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Has A New Tiara, But It's Not What You Think," 18 Oct. 2018 Mountaineers and officials gathered at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu offering flowers and burning incense by the bodies, which were kept in wooden coffins. Binaj Gurubacharya, The Seattle Times, "Deaths spark calls in Nepal for better warning systems," 16 Oct. 2018 The youngest princess of York wore this black and white option, complete with polka dots, flowers, and spirals, of course. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "QUIZ: Can You Match the Hat to the Royal?," 14 Sep. 2018 Customers can order produce, baked goods, dairy products, meat, seafood, flowers, and other everyday items for pickup. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Amazon launches grocery pickup at Whole Foods for Prime members," 8 Aug. 2018 Green and white stripes on the lower portion of the facade echo the rise and fall of grass underfoot, while the magenta and white stripes above reference the color of a local flower and a hue that often ruddies the summer sky at sunset. Shonquis Moreno, Curbed, "‘If you take out the art, the building itself can’t stand’," 6 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The couple were waved off by the excitable and adorable pageboys and flower girls wearing Spanish label La Oca Loca; the girls in organdy and lace white dresses and flowered espadrilles and the boys in linen tops and shorts. Vogue, "California Dreamers: Hayley Bloomingdale’s Stylish Santa Barbara Wedding," 26 Nov. 2018 The dramatic change is happening right in front of us.’’ In the 1850s, Thoreau charted when Walden Pond’s highbush blueberry first flowered. Seth Borenstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Looking for signs of global warming? They’re all around you," 19 June 2018 Buffered from the drone of the traffic and smog in North America’s most populous metropolis, the former rock quarry’s flowering shrubs and babbling creek are a haven for hummingbirds. National Geographic, "Inside the Black Market Hummingbird Love Charm Trade," 18 Apr. 2018 To add reddish highlights and tint: Hibiscus flower tea. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Your Own Shampoo With Ingredients You Have in Your Kitchen," 31 July 2017 Perennial grasses and wildflowers sprouted the first year after the fires and flowered profusely the second year. Kristen Pope, Discover Magazine, "Wildfire Engulfed Yellowstone 30 Years Ago. Its Recovery Could Predict The Future of the West," 12 Nov. 2018 Grooming can be done at any time and major pruning in February before flowering. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Most tomatoes won't grow in summer in Florida," 7 July 2018 Seeds of Life offers flowering trees such as these gardenias, which are known for having a heavenly scent. Jenae Sitzes, Country Living, "20 Best Mother's Day Flower Delivery Options," 1 May 2018 This is especially important with the southern high bush variety that flowers heavily when the plants are young. Stan Davidson, Sun-Sentinel.com, "With patience, blueberries can be grown in containers," 10 July 2018

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


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


see flower entry 1

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Statistics for flower

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for flower

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

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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 \

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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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

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