millefleur

adjective

mille·​fleur (ˌ)mēl-ˈflər How to pronounce millefleur (audio)
-ˈflu̇r
variants or millefleurs
: having an allover pattern of small flowers and plants
millefleur tapestry

Did you know?

Millefleur (which can also be spelled millefleurs) came directly from French into English in the 17th century as a word for a perfume distilled from several different kinds of flowers. The literal meaning of mille fleurs in French 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."

Word History

Etymology

French mille-fleurs, from mille fleurs a thousand flowers

First Known Use

1908, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of millefleur was in 1908

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Dictionary Entries Near millefleur

Cite this Entry

“Millefleur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/millefleur. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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