wall·​flow·​er | \ ˈwȯl-ˌflau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce wallflower (audio) \

Definition of wallflower

1a : any of several Old World perennial herbs (genus Cheiranthus) of the mustard family especially : a hardy erect herb (C. cheiri) widely cultivated for its showy fragrant flowers
b : any of a related genus (Erysimum) of herbs with showy flowers
2a : a person who from shyness or unpopularity remains on the sidelines of a social activity (such as a dance)
b : a shy or reserved person

Illustration of wallflower

Illustration of wallflower

wallflower 1a

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Synonyms & Antonyms for wallflower


introvert, shrinking violet


extrovert (also extravert)

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Examples of wallflower in a Sentence

there were too many wallflowers at the party, so things never really got lively

Recent Examples on the Web

The wallflower turns into the belle of the ball and starts to realize her ambitions, but also unwittingly sets off a bloody spiral of contagion. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Rabid remake gets disturbing first trailer," 4 July 2019 Grand Duchess Vladimir was no wallflower; in fact she was known as the grandest of the grand duchesses, had a renowned collection of jewels and parties, and even a bit of a gambling problem (baccarat and roulette were her weaknesses). Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Catherine the Great's Emerald Is for Sale—And Queen Elizabeth Has Jewels from the Same Collection," 2 May 2019 When and how quickly tyrannosaurs went from wallflower to prom king has been vexing paleontologists. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Meet This Tiny Ancestor of the Fearsome T. Rex," 21 Feb. 2019 Another example would be Opening Ceremony x Tevas, which produced colorful creepers or Opening Ceremony x Birkenstock, which produced rhinestone encrusted Birks (wallflowers need not apply). Liz Raiss, GQ, "This Summer's Best Sandals Got the Big Ugly Sneaker Treatment," 4 July 2018 Lululemon’s customer base does not contain many wallflowers, points out Pam Quintiliano of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, a bank. The Economist, "Despite falling foul of the #MeToo movement, Lululemon is soaring," 12 July 2018 Confident and self-possessed, Bench was a wallflower compared with the team's shaggy-haired outfielder. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Johnny Bench Is Already a Hall-of-Famer, But He's Looking For a New Distinction," 5 July 2018 Yet Wolfe wasn’t always, to borrow the title of a Nora Ephron book, merely a wallflower at the orgy. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Tom Wolfe Kept a Close, Comical and Astonished Eye on America," 15 May 2018 And though their trend-forward statement pieces aren’t for wallflowers, the collection of earrings, bracelets and necklaces retail at an accessible price point — just in case the movie gives fellow theatergoers any ideas. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "What to Wear: To dress a thief," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wallflower.' 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 wallflower

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for wallflower

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wallflower

The first known use of wallflower was in 1577

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Financial Definition of wallflower

What It Is

Wallflower is slang for a stock that analysts and investors tend to neglect.

How It Works

Usually used to describe individuals who are relegated to the sidelines in social events, in investing, wallflowers are stocks that investors and analysts tend to ignore. Also called orphan stocks, wallflowers do not typically display outstanding market performance, but sometimes the reason for a stock being classified as a wallflower may not be clear.

Why It Matters

Value investors sometimes hunt specifically for wallflowers. Because their stock price hasn't been inflated by investor demand, wallflowers tend to have low P/E ratios, which many investors believe can lead to solid long-term returns.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of wallflower

informal : a person who is shy or unpopular and who stands or sits apart from other people at a dance or party
: a garden plant grown for its bright, pleasant-smelling flowers

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Comments on wallflower

What made you want to look up wallflower? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

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