gladiolus

noun

glad·​i·​o·​lus ˌgla-dē-ˈō-ləs How to pronounce gladiolus (audio)
1
or plural gladiolus also gladioluses : any of a genus (Gladiolus) of chiefly African perennial plants of the iris family with erect sword-shaped leaves and spikes of brilliantly colored irregular flowers arising from corms
2
: the large middle portion of the sternum

Illustration of gladiolus

Illustration of gladiolus
  • gladiolus 1

Examples of gladiolus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An image of gladiolus feels like a set of musical variations teased out of a single line, as if the artist has challenged herself to solve some pictorial puzzle without lifting pen from paper. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 The bride walked down the aisle while carrying a bouquet of gladiolus as an ode to her maternal grandmother. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 26 July 2023 In ancient Rome, crowds would shower the winners of gladiatorial contests with stems of gladiolus. Kate McGregor, House Beautiful, 12 June 2022 The gladiolus and poppy also represent those born in August. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 24 July 2023 Abyssinian Gladiolus Now 30% Off $7 at gurneys.com This gladiolus variety smells most potent after dusk. Molly Miller, housebeautiful.com, 8 June 2023 What began decades ago as a celebration of South Florida’s agricultural and horticultural resources — namely the vibrant gladiolus flower — has grown to feature artisans selling works of all types. Kari Barnett, Sun Sentinel, 12 Apr. 2023 Bulbs: African lily, agapanthus, amaryllis, anemone, bulbine, calla, crinum, day lily, gingers, gladiolus, pineapple lily, rain lily, society garlic, spider lilies, walking iris, watsonia. Tom MacCubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 1 Oct. 2022 Lucky for you there are two great choices: dahlias and gladiolus. Jeff Lowenfels | Alaska Gardening and Growing, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, gladiolus, from diminutive of gladius

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gladiolus was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near gladiolus

Cite this Entry

“Gladiolus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gladiolus. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

gladiolus

noun
glad·​i·​o·​lus ˌglad-ē-ˈō-ləs How to pronounce gladiolus (audio)
plural gladioli -ˈō-(ˌ)lē How to pronounce gladiolus (audio)
-ˈō-ˌlī
or gladiolus also gladioluses
: any of a genus of chiefly African plants related to the irises and having erect sword-shaped leaves and stalks of brilliantly colored flowers
Etymology

from Latin gladiolus, literally, "little sword," from gladius "sword" — related to gladiator

Medical Definition

gladiolus

noun
glad·​i·​o·​lus ˌglad-ē-ˈō-ləs How to pronounce gladiolus (audio)
plural gladioli -(ˌ)lē How to pronounce gladiolus (audio) -ˌlī How to pronounce gladiolus (audio)
: the large middle portion of the sternum lying between the upper manubrium and the lower xiphoid process

called also mesosternum

More from Merriam-Webster on gladiolus

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!