poin·​set·​tia | \pȯin-ˈse-tē-ə, nonstandard pȯint-, nonstandard -ˈse-tə \

Definition of poinsettia 

: any of several spurges (genus Euphorbia) with flower clusters subtended by showy involucral bracts especially : a showy Mexican and Central American plant (E. pulcherrima) with tapering usually scarlet bracts that suggest petals and surround small yellow flowers

Illustration of poinsettia

Illustration of poinsettia

Examples of poinsettia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The problem is the poinsettias have yet to turn red! Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "9 Movies and TV Shows to Watch While You're Avoiding Family Over Thanksgiving," 18 Nov. 2018 All ages can enjoy watching the model train on its winding journey through the poinsettias and around a winter vintage display during the Conservatory’s regular hours, Tuesdays through Sundays. Madeline Mckenzie, The Seattle Times, "Holiday fun gets rolling with a turkey toss, trees, trains, treats and more," 14 Nov. 2018 For the new year, replace the pine and poinsettia with generous groupings of just one type of fresh flower. Elle Decor Staff, ELLE Decor, "Design for the New Year," 5 Jan. 2010 Trim back 4 to 6 inches of new poinsettia growth to keep the plants compact. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "June in the garden," 26 May 2018 There are the same leggy poinsettia and the same trees of pink and yellow hibiscus. Alice Bolin, Los Angeles Magazine, "What People Should Read About L.A. Before They Move to L.A.," 26 June 2018 The poinsettia’s family, the euphorbias, exude an irritating latex-like fluid. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "Some of South Florida's most popular plants may be toxic to pets," 14 June 2018 Plant Easter lilies and poinsettias in the landscape. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "May in the garden," 28 Apr. 2018 One tradition claims the five slits represent Jesus’ wounds and the markings represent the Christmas star on one side and a poinsettia on the other. Susan Moeller, BostonGlobe.com, "A beachcombing guide: Things to find at the beach," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poinsettia.' 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 poinsettia

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for poinsettia

New Latin, from Joel R. Poinsett †1851 American diplomat

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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The first known use of poinsettia was in 1836

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English Language Learners Definition of poinsettia

: a plant with large red, pink, or white leaves that look like petals


poin·​set·​tia | \pȯin-ˈse-tē-ə, -ˈse-tə\

Kids Definition of poinsettia

: a tropical plant with showy usually red leaves that grow like petals around its small greenish yellow flowers

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More from Merriam-Webster on poinsettia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with poinsettia

Spanish Central: Translation of poinsettia

Nglish: Translation of poinsettia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poinsettia

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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