nosegay

play
noun nose·gay \ˈnōz-ˌgā\

Definition of nosegay

  1. :  a small bunch of flowers :  posy

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Examples of nosegay in a Sentence

  1. a stately procession of bridesmaids holding small nosegays

Recent Examples of nosegay from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Nosegay is a homegrown word - that is, it originated in English. Fifteenth-century Middle English speakers joined "nose" (which meant then what it does today) with "gay" (which at the time meant "ornament"). That makes "nosegay" an appropriate term for a bunch of flowers, which is indeed an ornament that appeals to the nose. Today the word nosegay is especially common in the bridal business, where it usually refers to a specific type of bouquet: a round, tight bunch of flowers as opposed to a cascading bouquet or other type of arrangement. Occasionally, the word is used metaphorically for things that somehow resemble a bouquet. For example, a compact collection of enjoyably lighthearted short stories might be called "a nosegay of a book."

Origin and Etymology of nosegay

Middle English, from nose nose + gay ornament, literally, something gay, from gay


NOSEGAY Defined for English Language Learners

nosegay

play
noun

Definition of nosegay for English Language Learners

  • : a small bouquet of flowers



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