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 Add her kids’ names to a stamped disk necklace, or give her a charm stamped with her birth month flower. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "22 Sentimental Gifts That’ll Help You Make This Christmas Special," 20 Oct. 2020 Typically, cut-lower mums grown in pots will have a number of stems, each one terminating in one large, showy flower. Dan Gill, NOLA.com, "Nothing says it's fall garden time like classic chrysanthemums, which come in many hues," 7 Oct. 2020 Beautiful table decor isn’t always reliant on candles, flower arrangements, or other knick knacks. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Animal coffee table books that make great gifts and conversation fodder," 1 Oct. 2020 Harry has frequently honored his mother's memory through her favorite flower. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Plant Forget-Me-Nots at L.A. Preschool in Honor of Princess Diana," 1 Sep. 2020 Your leadership abilities and talents are in full flower during the next three to four weeks. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for August 30, 2020: Happy birthday Cameron Diaz; Libra, put concerns, doubts aside," 30 Aug. 2020 Although composed as late as 1903, this trio represents late romanticism in fullest flower. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Musicians with D-FW connections record Beethoven symphonies, chamber works with clarinet," 24 July 2020 But even the smaller honeybees are too small and end up getting their clumsy feet stuck in the milkweed flower. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Got milkweed? Add some summer sizzle to your garden with these favorites of butterflies," 11 July 2020 Start by layering in the base flower, green dianthus. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "5 DIY Floral Bouquets to Make for Every Spring Occasion," 13 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The more modern climbers were specifically developed to produce large blooms and to flower repeatedly during the course of the year. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Reach new heights in your rose garden with ramblers and climbers," 3 Oct. 2020 Regretfully, mums only flower for a short period of time due to the early fall heat. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Here are the best times to plant watermelon seeds," 19 Sep. 2020 Pollinators are in our gardens from as early as March to as late as October, so plants that flower early and late should be included, Litzau added. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fall is the perfect time to put in pollinator-friendly plants, and help the environment," 3 Sep. 2020 Some shoots may have already formed and could flower and fruit next year. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "How to improve sandy soil for gardening," 8 Aug. 2020 Some peonies will flower the first year, while others may take a few years to get established and bloom. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, "How To Care for Peonies," 18 June 2020 By late July your confidence and optimism should return and your leadership abilities should flower. oregonlive, "Horoscope for June 11, 2020: Happy birthday Adrienne Barbeau; Cancer, trust your intuition," 11 June 2020 When your garden plants start flowering, use an organic fertilizer to give them an extra boost to start setting fruit. Los Angeles Times, "DIY: Plant a victory garden now and grow your own groceries," 16 Apr. 2020 The goal is to grow some produce as well as flowering shrubs (to attract pollinators) and some trees. oregonlive, "How to best improve garden soil in preparation for spring planting? Ask an expert," 16 Feb. 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

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flower. Accessed 26 Oct. 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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