sun·​flow·​er | \ˈsən-ˌflau̇(-ə)r \

Definition of sunflower 

: any of a genus (Helianthus, especially H. annuus) of New World composite plants with large yellow-rayed flower heads bearing edible seeds that yield an edible oil

Examples of sunflower in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Few desserts are as refreshing as the viola and rue sorbet with its pale lavender color and its garnish of sunflower butter, candied kumquats and granola. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "The Perennial makes environmental activism taste good," 25 May 2018 Clear Meadow is also known for its sunflowers that bloom in the Jarrettsville area each September. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Harford corn crop delayed by spring rain, challenged by summer heat," 9 July 2018 Zaklan adds sunflowers as a fourth sister to bring in pollinators and give the vines another structure to grow on., "In vegetable gardens, good-neighbor planting makes all the difference," 29 Mar. 2018 Smaller pewter memory boxes and two larger, solid-pewter urns featuring sunflowers are also available. Megan Becka,, "Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory, Don Drumm partner to offer artistic pewter urns," 26 Mar. 2018 There were scenes of a woman in a doctor’s office, an older couple gardening, women painting sunflowers. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "Ask Your Doctor. Until Then, Here’s a Word From Our Sitcom.," 9 Mar. 2018 The sunflowers are in full bloom at McKee-Beshers in Montgomery County this week. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Giant, yellow sunflowers are in peak bloom in the Washington region," 11 July 2018 The native sunflowers are not a disciplined grower, so don’t hesitate to limit the stand to an appropriate area. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "Your guide to foliage fit to feed the birds," 1 June 2018 Turing appeared to be looking for a general mechanism for the creation of form — like how thought or consciousness spontaneously emerges or how sunflowers neatly pack their seeds together. New York Times, "How the Father of Computer Science Decoded Nature’s Mysterious Patterns," 8 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of sunflower

1597, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for sunflower

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for sunflower

The first known use of sunflower was in 1597

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More Definitions for sunflower



English Language Learners Definition of sunflower

: a tall plant that has very large yellow flowers and that produces seeds which can be eaten


sun·​flow·​er | \ˈsən-ˌflau̇-ər \

Kids Definition of sunflower

: a tall plant often grown for its large flower heads with brown center and yellow petals or for its edible oily seeds

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