pet·​al | \ ˈpe-tᵊl How to pronounce petal (audio) \

Definition of petal

: one of the modified often brightly colored leaves of the corolla of a flower — see flower illustration

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Other Words from petal

petaled or petalled \ ˈpe-​tᵊld How to pronounce petalled (audio) \ adjective
petallike \ ˈpe-​tᵊl-​ˌ(l)īk How to pronounce petallike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of petal in a Sentence

flowers with pink and white petals

Recent Examples on the Web

Receptors are tuned to detect a few basic odors apiece: some detect geranium petals or pine needles, while others detect the by-products of putrefaction. Ryan P. Dalton, Scientific American, "How We Are Wired for Smell," 13 Aug. 2019 Texas Mexican food had its moment with a chile relleno full of melted Havarti and rice studded with corn and mushrooms, carried a welcome step further with glossy petals of confit chicken. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Kindling Texas Kitchen in Cibolo breaks the rules for Texas food," 1 Aug. 2019 In the reimagined world, powder blue, scythe-like petals of the plant Ventus ingenero rotate in the wind blowing across the plant's grassland plains habitat. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian, "This Artist Imagines How Nature Evolves Following an Environmental Apocalypse," 19 July 2019 The zipper-like arrangement rests atop the same miso and cider glaze the duck is cooked in and is adorned with braised pearl onion petals holding spicy duck pâté. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Our restaurant critic's 12 favorite metro Detroit dishes from the first half of 2019," 28 June 2019 But the chalk outlines remain, and petals linger on the street edges. Sarah Schutte, National Review, "Solemn Parties, Festive Liturgies — What’s Not to Like about Being Catholic?," 22 June 2019 From designing the weddings of stars like Tina Turner and Chelsea Clinton and having clientele from the Kardashians to Oprah, Leatham’s petals have been seen across the globe. Susannah Hutcheson, USA TODAY, "How I became a celebrity floral designer: Jeff Leatham," 18 June 2019 Those petals would block out the light from a distant star and allow the space telescope to study nearby planets without distraction. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Wants to Block Out Distant Stars with the Craziest Flying Formation Ever," 14 June 2019 Look closely and Harber’s magic becomes apparent: rippling across the water at regular intervals (and controlled by robotics) are small gold-and-black petals reminiscent of autumn leaves. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "The Top 5 Takeaways from the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show," 23 May 2019

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

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First Known Use of petal

1712, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petal

New Latin petalum, from Greek petalon; akin to Greek petannynai to spread out — more at fathom

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Dictionary Entries near petal


Petah Tiqwa






Statistics for petal

Last Updated

22 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for petal

The first known use of petal was in 1712

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More Definitions for petal



English Language Learners Definition of petal

: one of the soft, colorful parts of a flower


pet·​al | \ ˈpe-tᵊl How to pronounce petal (audio) \

Kids Definition of petal

: one of the often brightly colored leaflike outer parts of a flower

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More from Merriam-Webster on petal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petal

Spanish Central: Translation of petal

Nglish: Translation of petal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of petal for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about petal

Comments on petal

What made you want to look up petal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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