ge·​ra·​ni·​um jə-ˈrā-nē-əm How to pronounce geranium (audio) -nyəm How to pronounce geranium (audio)
: any of a widely distributed genus (Geranium of the family Geraniaceae, the geranium family) of plants having regular usually white, pink, or purple flowers with elongated styles and glands that alternate with the petals

called also cranesbill

: a vivid or strong red

Examples of geranium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tom Ford Ombré Leather Eau de Parfum The 7 Virtues Lotus Pear Eau de Parfum Williams pear, lotus flower, and gardenia, plus geranium and upcycled rose—sustainably sourced from Egypt—come together to create this uplifting floral scent. Kayla Greaves, Vogue, 17 Nov. 2023 How to Propagate Geraniums Stem cuttings are the best way to propagate geraniums. Lynn McAlpine, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Oct. 2023 Early in the month, shorten branches of scented geraniums and Martha Washington geraniums by a couple of inches. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Oct. 2023 This one gives off a light hint of citrus, from grapefruit and geranium notes. Lisa Lombardi,, 11 Sep. 2023 According to their site, the candles are made with thyme and geranium essence and are specifically designed for outdoor use. Halee Miller, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Oct. 2023 The necessity of set changes leaves an abundance of scenes played against a white curtain on which video footage — the sea lapping the shore, giant geraniums blooming to indicate love growing — are projected. David Benedict, Variety, 19 Sep. 2023 The wildflowers were in full bloom – purple Lupines, Red Paint Brush, pink geraniums, blue Columbine among them. Eileen Ogintz, Chicago Tribune, 31 Aug. 2023 The best flowers for pressing are ones that lie flat: violets, daises, poppies, pansies, cosmos, delphiniums, geraniums, forget-me-nots, and greenery. Grace Haynes, Southern Living, 2 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'geranium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, geranium, from Greek geranion, from diminutive of geranos crane — more at crane

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of geranium was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near geranium

Cite this Entry

“Geranium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ge·​ra·​ni·​um jə-ˈrā-nē-əm How to pronounce geranium (audio)
: any of a genus of herbs with usually deeply cut leaves and typically white, pink, or purple flowers in which glands alternate with the petals
: any of a genus of herbs native to southern Africa with showy flowers of usually red, pink, or white

from Latin geranium "geranium," from Greek geranion, literally, "little crane," from geranos "crane"

Word Origin
Many of the plants in the geranium family have long, thin, pointed seedpods or fruits that look like the bills of birds. The ancient Greeks noticed this resemblance. They named the wild geranium geranion, literally meaning "little crane," for the long-legged, long-billed wading bird. English borrowed the Latin form geranium. English also borrowed the idea that the geranium's seedpod looks like a bird's bill. The common English name of the wild geranium is cranesbill.

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