milk·​weed | \ ˈmilk-ˌwēd How to pronounce milkweed (audio) \

Definition of milkweed

: 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 Three biologists crouched among the milkweed plants, combing through the thin green leaves as if braiding hair. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 May 2022 Many species of caterpillars exclusively eat milkweed leaves, and butterflies consume nectar from natives, including wild bergamots, yarrows and joe-pye weed. Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2022 Loss of habitat, especially the milkweed where the monarchs lay their eggs, pesticide and herbicide use, as well climate change, all pose threats to the species' migration. Mark Stevenson, Star Tribune, 25 Feb. 2021 Ozone gardens are comprised of ozone-sensitive plants, such as common milkweed. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 18 Oct. 2021 That’s right: colorful, milkweed-eating monarch butterflies are falling victim to the changing climate. Greg Melville, Outside Online, 13 May 2014 Prostrate milkweed, a rare plant native to Texas and northeastern Mexico, is part of an import support system for bees and monarch butterflies. Li Cohen, CBS News, 15 Feb. 2022 Common milkweed and flowering wild bergamot are desired. Karie Angell Luc,, 31 Jan. 2022 Plants in the aster, mint, carrot, and milkweed families are among the most visited if your space is limited. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'milkweed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of milkweed

circa 1592, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for milkweed

Time Traveler

The first known use of milkweed was circa 1592

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Dictionary Entries Near milkweed



milkweed bug

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Statistics for milkweed

Last Updated

14 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Milkweed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for milkweed


milk·​weed | \ ˈmilk-ˌwēd How to pronounce milkweed (audio) \

Kids Definition of milkweed

: a plant with milky juice and clusters of flowers


milk·​weed | \ ˈmilk-ˌwēd How to pronounce milkweed (audio) \

Medical Definition of milkweed

: 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

Nglish: Translation of milkweed for Spanish Speakers


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