sax·​i·​frage ˈsak-sə-frij How to pronounce saxifrage (audio)
: any of a genus (Saxifraga of the family Saxifragaceae, the saxifrage family) of chiefly perennial herbs with showy pentamerous flowers and often with basal tufted leaves

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Right at your feet, a mushy tundra is rich in colorful life eking out an existence: White Arctic bell heather, willow herb, drooping saxifrage, Arctic poppy, and lousewort fern. John Oseid, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 Yet his work lives in the plants named after him: Michaux’s sumac; the fern Pleopeltis michauxiana; a wildflower called Michaux’s saxifrage. Shaun Assael, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 June 2021 The flora and fauna are out of fairy tales: polar bears, arctic foxes, reindeer, walruses, purple saxifrage, dwarf willow, psychedelic orange lichen., 26 Sep. 2019 This is an American native, a member of the saxifrage family. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, 11 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saxifrage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin saxifraga, from Latin, feminine of saxifragus breaking rocks, from saxum rock + frangere to break — more at break

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of saxifrage was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Saxifrage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

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