raf·​fle·​sia rə-ˈflē-zh(ē-)ə How to pronounce rafflesia (audio)
: any of a genus (Rafflesia of the family Rafflesiaceae) of Malaysian dicotyledonous plants that are parasitic in other plants and have fleshy usually foul-smelling apetalous flowers emerging from the host, imbricated scales in place of leaves, and no stems

Examples of rafflesia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The rafflesia belongs to a parasitic genus native to Southeast Asia, and so far scientists have failed to grow one outside of its native range. Kristy Totten, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rafflesia.' 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 Sir Stamford Raffles †1826 English colonial administrator

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rafflesia was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near rafflesia

Cite this Entry

“Rafflesia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rafflesia. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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