Definition of millefleur
: having an allover pattern of small flowers and plants millefleur tapestry
millefleur was our Word of the Day on 06/14/2013. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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."
Origin and Etymology of millefleur
French mille-fleurs, from mille fleurs a thousand flowers
First Known Use: 1908See Words from the same year
Learn More about millefleur
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up millefleur? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).