hydrangea

noun

hy·​dran·​gea hī-ˈdrān-jə How to pronounce hydrangea (audio)
: any of a genus (Hydrangea) of mostly shrubs having opposite leaves and showy clusters of usually sterile white, pink, or bluish flowers that is either placed in the saxifrage family or the hydrangea family (Hydrangeaceae)

Examples of hydrangea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ideal for a family seeking a vacation rental with style, the charming backyard and patio, bordered by the island’s classic hydrangea bushes, is the perfect setting for coffee, a cookout, or a drink after the beach. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, 12 July 2024 Native Plant Garden: This garden features many different plants native to the region, including hydrangeas, irises, butterfly weed, and St. John's Wort, just to name a few. Madison Lipe, USA TODAY, 28 June 2024 Kentucky’s native smooth hydrangea, (Hydrangea arborescens) is a gem of a garden plant and one of the most robust of the entire hydrangea clan. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 14 June 2024 Agostini said there are two main types of hydrangeas. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 2 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for hydrangea 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hydrangea.' 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

borrowed from New Latin, genus name, from Greek hydr- hydr- + New Latin -angēa, feminine derivative from Greek angeîon "vessel, container" — more at angio-

Note: The genus name dates from linnaeus's Species plantarum, vol. 1 (1753), p. 397. Linnaeus took the name from Jan Frederik Gronovius and John Clayton's Flora Virginica, pars prima (Leiden, 1739), p. 50. Since the 19th century the name Hydrangea, taken to mean "water vessel," is said to refer to the "cup-like form of the seed-capsule" (hence Oxford English Dictionary, first edition, 1899). However, Gronovius, presumably the immediate author of the text, gives no indication of the name's significance. He describes the fruit of Hydrangea arborescens as "a small two-chambered vessel filled with tiny seeds, crowned with two small threads or little horns bent backward" ("… vasculo parvo bicapsulari seminibus minutissimis repleto, duobus parvis filamentis seu corniculis recurvis cornato"). This accords well with pictures of the plant's small seed capsules, though it takes some imagination to see an individual capsule as a water vessel.

First Known Use

circa 1753, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hydrangea was circa 1753

Dictionary Entries Near hydrangea

Cite this Entry

“Hydrangea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydrangea. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

hydrangea

noun
hy·​dran·​gea hī-ˈdrān-jə How to pronounce hydrangea (audio)
: any of a genus of shrubby plants with showy clusters of usually sterile white, pink, or bluish flowers

Medical Definition

hydrangea

noun
hy·​dran·​gea hī-ˈdrān-jə How to pronounce hydrangea (audio)
1
capitalized : a large genus of widely distributed shrubs and one woody vine (family Saxifragaceae) with opposite leaves and showy clusters of usually sterile white, pink, or bluish flowers
2
: any plant of the genus Hydrangea
3
: the dried rhizome and roots of the wild plant of the genus Hydrangea (H. arborescens) formerly used in pharmacy as a diuretic

More from Merriam-Webster on hydrangea

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