ra·​nun·​cu·​lus rə-ˈnəŋ-kyə-ləs How to pronounce ranunculus (audio)
plural ranunculus or ranunculuses or ranunculi rə-ˈnəŋ-kyə-ˌlī How to pronounce ranunculus (audio)
: any of a large genus (Ranunculus of the family Ranunculaceae, the buttercup family) of chiefly perennial herbaceous plants with tuberous or fibrous roots and typically yellow, five-petaled, cup-shaped flowers and including one (R. asiaticus) of southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia widely cultivated for its white, yellow, pink, red, or orange flowers having multiple layers of petals see buttercup, lesser celandine

Examples of ranunculus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Knudson adds that ranunculus and spirea are also excellent choices for a spring wedding arrangement. Shelby Wax, Vogue, 13 Oct. 2023 Kristen also carried a bouquet of garden roses, ranunculus and eucalyptus down the aisle. Kaitlin Stevens, Peoplemag, 11 Oct. 2023 Next, bring in blooms with some movement or curve to the stem, such as tulips or ranunculus. Michelle Brunner, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 Informational signs, which abound on the grounds, inform that the resident Tecolote giant ranunculus is a member of the buttercup family native to Asia Minor. Lola Sherman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Mar. 2023 The pattern of pansies, violets, and ranunculus created a dense bouquet of purples, pinks, yellows, and whites across her bust and waist, and slowly dissipated closer to the dress’s clean white hemline. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 10 Aug. 2023 In Carlsbad, about 0.60 inches fell, giving the ranunculus a rinsing at Flower Fields along Interstate 5. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Mar. 2021 Create an ombre effect by adding white roses on one side, light pink flowers like ranunculus and roses in the middle, and darker pink peonies on the end. Emma Phelps, Southern Living, 21 Aug. 2023 Burgundy ranunculus steal the show, while subdued lamb's ear softens the flower's rich color. Molly Miller, House Beautiful, 29 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ranunculus.' 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, from diminutive of rana frog

First Known Use

1543, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ranunculus was in 1543

Dictionary Entries Near ranunculus

Cite this Entry

“Ranunculus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ranunculus. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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