pop·py | \ˈpä-pē \
plural poppies

Definition of poppy 

1a : any of a genus (Papaver of the family Papaveraceae, the poppy family) of chiefly annual or perennial herbs with milky juice, showy regular flowers, and capsular fruits including the opium poppy and several forms cultivated as ornamentals

b : an extract or decoction of poppy used medicinally

2 : a strong reddish orange

Examples of poppy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

July at the Alaska Botanical Garden offers a plethora of colorful flowers, from Himalayan blue poppies to any of the 50 varieties of peony cultivated at the Anchorage garden. Anchorage Daily News, "July is a great time to visit the Alaska Botanical Garden," 11 July 2018 Among his patrons was Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, who commissioned an exquisite tiara in the form of a field of poppies, complete with a tiny jeweled bug on one of its petals. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "This Cult Danish Jeweler’s Work Will Be Reissued at Dover Street Market," 1 June 2018 Visitors to the garden in July will get a chance to see a number of blue poppies, although the garden's nursery is sold out of the popular plant. Anchorage Daily News, "July is a great time to visit the Alaska Botanical Garden," 11 July 2018 The drug trade has grown — cultivation of poppies is up and Mexico has started manufacturing fentanyl and other synthetic drugs — and violence has exploded. Kate Linthicum, latimes.com, "Is amnesty the answer for Mexico's bloody drug war? The country's likely next president thinks it might be," 29 June 2018 Michelle Obama, meanwhile, received a public lashing in 2011 for wearing a poppy red Alexander McQueen ball gown to the Chinese state dinner at the White House. Dana Thomas, Town & Country, "Does it Really Matter That Melania Doesn't Wear American?," 27 Mar. 2017 Also in the mix are customizable unisex pieces, such as poppy-red or light blue shirts with detachable sleeves that the wearer could mix and match. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Occhii, a Buzzy New York Label, Creates Clothes From Discarded Scarves," 11 June 2018 Zhou Xing Ci’s family have farmed poppies for as long as anyone remembers, scraping the flowers' sticky brown sap to produce opium. Ann Wang, The Christian Science Monitor, "Myanmar's farmers shift from growing poppies to raising silkworms," 9 May 2018 Those factors contribute to photos where the fireworks look like marigolds, dandelions, and poppies set against stark black backgrounds. Anna Goldwater Alexander, WIRED, "Look Closely: These Aren't Flowers—They're Fireworks," 2 July 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for poppy

Middle English popi, from Old English popæg, popig, modification of Latin papaver

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Statistics for poppy

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for poppy

The first known use of poppy was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for poppy



English Language Learners Definition of poppy

: a type of plant that has bright red or orange flowers and that is the source of opium; also : its flower


pop·py | \ˈpä-pē \
plural poppies

Kids Definition of poppy

: a plant with a hairy stem and showy usually red, yellow, or white flowers


pop·py | \ˈpäp-ē \
plural poppies

Medical Definition of poppy 

: any herb of the genus Papaver (family Papaveraceae, the poppy family) especially : opium poppy

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Comments on poppy

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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