pop·​py ˈpä-pē How to pronounce poppy (audio)
plural poppies
: 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
: an extract or decoction of poppy used medicinally
: a strong reddish orange

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Plant poppies in the sun in springtime for summer blooms. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 17 May 2023 Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate California landscapes are transforming into a kaleidoscope of vibrant wildflowers, including orange poppies, yellow fiddlenecks and lavender-blue lupines. Jack Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Apr. 2023 Thousands of people daily make the trek to north east Los Angeles County where poppies have bloomed and colored fields and hillsides bright orange. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2023 There were Disneyland-size crowds wanting to see the poppies. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 13 Apr. 2023 But dirt paths lead along the base of the hills where the poppies massed. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 5 Apr. 2023 However, there are many other blooms that look great in a tulipiere, including ranunculus, hyacinth, roses, crocus, daylilies, poppies, sweet peas, cosmos, and even green foliage. Colleen Sullivan, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Mar. 2023 Though sheets of yellow rattle and red poppies in the long grass beside the front drive, the Prince heads for the high-hedged shelter of the rose garden. Town & Country, 28 Apr. 2023 During the 2019 super bloom, thousands of tourists and influencers came out to view the poppies, which led to the unfortunate trampling of some of the flowers. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 17 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near poppy

Cite this Entry

“Poppy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poppy. Accessed 27 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


pop·​py ˈpäp-ē How to pronounce poppy (audio)
plural poppies
: any of a genus of herbs that have milky juice, showy flowers, and a fruit that is a capsule and include one that is the source of opium and several that are grown as ornamental plants

Medical Definition


pop·​py ˈpäp-ē How to pronounce poppy (audio)
plural poppies
: any herb of the genus Papaver (family Papaveraceae, the poppy family)
especially : opium poppy

More from Merriam-Webster on poppy

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