Word of the Day : December 25, 2010

nosegay

play
noun NOHZ-gay

Definition

: a small bunch of flowers

Did You Know?

"Nosegay" is a homegrown word -- that is, it originated in English. Fifteenth-century Middle English speakers joined "nose" (which meant then what it does today) with "gay" (which at the time meant "ornament"). That makes "nosegay" an appropriate term for a bunch of flowers, which is indeed an ornament that appeals to the nose. Today the word "nosegay" is especially common in the bridal business, where it usually refers to a specific type of bouquet: a round, tight bunch of flowers as opposed to a cascading bouquet or other type of arrangement. Occasionally, the word is used metaphorically for things that somehow resemble a bouquet. For example, a compact collection of enjoyably lighthearted short stories might be called "a nosegay of a book."



Examples

The young man presented a nosegay of red, white, and yellow roses to his sweetheart.

“The bride carried a nosegay of green hydrangeas, Gerbera daisies, and coral roses hand-tied in turquoise ribbon.” -- From a wedding announcement in Mississippi Magazine, January 2010



Name That Synonym

What synonym of "nosegay" rhymes with "cozy"? The answer is ...


Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!