mille·​fleur | \ (ˌ)mēl-ˈflər How to pronounce millefleur (audio) , -ˈflu̇r \
variants: or millefleurs

Definition of millefleur

: having an allover pattern of small flowers and plants millefleur tapestry

Did You Know?

Millefleur (which can also be spelled "millefleurs," as in our second example sentence) came directly from French into English in the 18th century as a word for a perfume distilled from several different kinds of flowers. The literal meaning of "mille fleur" is "a thousand flowers," so it is easy to see how "millefleur" came to be applied to patterns or backgrounds of many tiny flowers or plants. A similarly colorful extension of "a thousand flowers" can be seen in the word millefiori. That term, which refers to ornamental glass characterized by multicolored flower-like designs, comes from "mille fiori," the Italian phrase meaning "a thousand flowers."

First Known Use of millefleur

1908, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for millefleur

French mille-fleurs, from mille fleurs a thousand flowers

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The first known use of millefleur was in 1908

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Cite this Entry

“Millefleur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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