pe·​tu·​nia | \ pi-ˈtün-yə How to pronounce petunia (audio) , -ˈtyün-\

Definition of petunia

: any of a genus (Petunia) of tropical South American herbs of the nightshade family that are commonly grown as annuals for their fragrant, colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers

Illustration of petunia

Illustration of petunia

Examples of petunia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Powdery mildew fungi attack petunias with a display of easy-to-recognize symptoms., "Why isn’t this wisteria blooming? Ask an expert," 16 Aug. 2019 Ornamental flowers believed to be effective at deterring troublesome bugs include marigolds, alliums, chrysanthemums, petunias and geraniums. Washington Post, "Some common garden plants might help keep bugs away," 6 Aug. 2019 Some thoughtful neighbor has kept the front lawn trimmed in ruler-straight swaths, and the petunias clustered around the stoop still bloom brightly. Steve Trumpeter,, "2019 Algren Awards: Finalist: A Pamphlet for This," 20 July 2019 Each week, Gertrude packed two-pound bags of shrimp to sell at the farmers’ market, along with petunias and gardenias from her yard. Lizzie Presser, ProPublica, "The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.," 15 July 2019 Night sky petunias can grow up to 16 inches, and bloom during the spring and summer months. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "There's a Cool Planting Trick to Making Galaxy Flowers Look Truly Out of this World," 12 June 2019 Desperate to uncover the identity of Archie’s secret girlfriend, Betty and Veronica work with their frenemy Cheryl Blossom to stage Riverdale’s very own version of The Bachelor, with Archie as the man to win (and petunias instead of roses). Christian Holub,, "Archie and Sabrina's romance creates drama in new comic preview," 11 June 2019 They're found on potatoes, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and petunias throughout North America. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The 10 Most Destructive Garden Insects and How to Get Rid of Them," 10 July 2018 Rabbits love to munch on everything from broccoli and beans to pansies and petunias. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "How to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden," 30 Jan. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of petunia

1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petunia

New Latin, from obsolete French petun tobacco, from Tupi petɨ́ma

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about petunia

Dictionary Entries near petunia





petunia violet



Statistics for petunia

Last Updated

28 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for petunia

The first known use of petunia was in 1825

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for petunia



English Language Learners Definition of petunia

: a plant that has colorful flowers which are shaped like funnels


pe·​tu·​nia | \ pə-ˈtü-nyə How to pronounce petunia (audio) , -ˈtyü-\

Kids Definition of petunia

: a plant grown for its brightly colored flowers that are shaped like funnels

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on petunia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petunia

Spanish Central: Translation of petunia

Nglish: Translation of petunia for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about petunia

Comments on petunia

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


to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!