pro·​tea ˈprō-tē-ə How to pronounce protea (audio)
: any of a genus (Protea of the family Proteaceae, the protea family) of African evergreen shrubs often grown as ornamentals for their showy bracts and dense flower heads

Illustration of protea

Illustration of protea

Examples of protea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Daniel McDonald, a protea grower and propagator, will highlight the challenges and rewards of growing protea and share his ideas and suggestions. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Sep. 2023 On Mel’s steep parcel, I’m captivated by the ‘Fiesta’, a hybrid protea. Sunset Magazine, 30 Dec. 2021 At the base was an assortment of flowers from around the world meant to signify global healing: there were North American peonies, South American roses, Asian delphiniums, European tulips, African garden roses, and Australian mink ice protea. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 18 June 2021 There’s also a huge exotic protea on the grounds that looks like a sunny pin cushion sent straight from Maui. Follow the winding path up to the pretty infinity pool and sink into a chaise lounge. Leslie Kelly, Forbes, 25 May 2021 An antique silver ice bucket from Sesame + Lilies on the Oregon Coast holds a floral arrangement of fresh peonies, protea and eucalyptus. oregonlive, 27 Nov. 2020 Red / Pink Chrysanthemum, protea, poppy, and cock’s comb—any of these (or all of them) effortlessly come together for a bouquet that will take your love’s breath away. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 12 Feb. 2020 Here, the black centers on the anemone pops and the white protea looks almost downy. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 12 Feb. 2020 Throughout Palomar there are plantings of hardwoods, succulents, proteas, cycads, pollinator plants, rosebushes, palms, bamboos and legumes. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Aug. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'protea.' 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, from Latin Proteus Proteus

First Known Use

1804, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of protea was in 1804

Dictionary Entries Near protea

Cite this Entry

“Protea.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

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