pol·​len ˈpä-lən How to pronounce pollen (audio)
: a mass of microspores in a seed plant appearing usually as a fine dust
: a dusty bloom on the body of an insect

Examples of pollen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The steam cycle doubles as sanitation and removes germs, bacteria, pollen, and dust mites, as well as wrinkles and static. Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023 This is not the kind of pollen that erupts in clouds of sulfur yellow, to be inhaled by unsuspecting humans who then run to the pharmacy for a gallon-sized bottle of Sinex spray. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 2 Sep. 2023 Already, the clouds of pollen this year have felt particularly potent. Charlotte Hu, Popular Science, 30 Aug. 2023 John pointed out bees fanning their wings, to keep the temperature and carbon-dioxide levels under control, and guards stationed at the entrance, apparently checking the bright-yellow beads of pollen that arrived on their fellow-bees’ knees, like bag searchers at a museum. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 Remove dust, pollen, bacteria and other allergens from your home's air by snagging this best-selling air purifier. Samantha Jones, Good Housekeeping, 18 Aug. 2023 Allergic reactions to food ingredients, environmental factors like pollen or dust mites, or even certain materials such as carpet fibers can all contribute to paw licking. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 Aug. 2023 Despite these concerns, conservation paleobiologists see a bright future in digging into the past to guide the future, because so many plants and animals leave fossils of some sort: pollen, teeth, shells or other traces, especially from relatively recent times. Bob Holmes, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Aug. 2023 This Honeywell — named one of the best air purifiers by the GH Institute — is built to help remove pollen, pet dander, dust and smoke from the air. Samantha Jones, Good Housekeeping, 10 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pollen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin pollin-, pollen, from Latin, fine flour

First Known Use

1723, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pollen was in 1723

Dictionary Entries Near pollen

Cite this Entry

“Pollen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pollen. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


pol·​len ˈpäl-ən How to pronounce pollen (audio)
: a mass of tiny particles in the anthers of a flower that fertilize the seeds and usually appear as fine yellow dust

Medical Definition


pol·​len ˈpäl-ən How to pronounce pollen (audio)
: a mass of male spores in a seed plant appearing usually as a fine dust

More from Merriam-Webster on pollen

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