milkweed

noun

milk·​weed ˈmilk-ˌwēd How to pronounce milkweed (audio)
: any of various plants that secrete latex
especially : any of a genus (Asclepias of the family Asclepiadaceae, the milkweed family) of erect chiefly perennial herbs with milky juice and umbellate flowers

Illustration of milkweed

Illustration of milkweed

Examples of milkweed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Prices range from $4 for 2-inch pots of milkweed and native perennials, and $7 to $10 for 4-inch pots. Journal Sentinel, 8 Apr. 2024 Don't be surprised when the milkweed's leaves start having holes. Julia Gomez, USA TODAY, 12 Mar. 2024 Butterflies will only lay their eggs on milkweed, says Seiler. Julia Gomez, USA TODAY, 12 Mar. 2024 Educational signs at sites along the trail encourage visitors to help save the butterflies by planting native milkweed and nectar plants and reducing the use of insecticides and herbicides. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Feb. 2024 Schaller will lead a hands-on demonstration focusing on early cultivation of common milkweed, a host plant of monarch butterflies. Susan Degrane, Chicago Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024 One bright spot: Some have been spotted in new areas, possibly thanks to folks planting more milkweeds. Brooke Staggs, Orange County Register, 6 Feb. 2024 For the workshop, Schaller will supply common milkweed seeds harvested from her home garden in Homer Glen, as well as seeds provided by family and friends. Susan Degrane, Chicago Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024 The population has dropped precipitously in recent years because of the replacement of milkweed with conventional landscaping plants. Giuseppe Ricapito, The Mercury News, 22 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1592, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of milkweed was circa 1592

Dictionary Entries Near milkweed

Cite this Entry

“Milkweed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/milkweed. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

milkweed

noun
milk·​weed ˈmil-ˌkwēd How to pronounce milkweed (audio)
: any of various herbs with milky juice and flowers usually in dense clusters

Medical Definition

milkweed

noun
milk·​weed ˈmilk-ˌwēd How to pronounce milkweed (audio)
: any of various plants that secrete latex
especially : any plant of the genus Asclepias (family Asclepiadaceae, the milkweed family) including several whose dried roots were formerly used medicinally

More from Merriam-Webster on milkweed

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