flower

1 of 2

noun

flow·​er ˈflau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce flower (audio)
1
a
: the specialized part of an angiospermous plant that occurs singly or in clusters, possesses whorls of often colorful petals or sepals, and bears the reproductive structures (such as stamens or pistils) involved in the development of seeds and fruit : blossom
b
: a cluster of small flowers growing closely together that resembles and is often viewed as a single flower : inflorescence
a hydrangea flower
c
: a plant grown or valued for its flowers
planted flowers in the front yard
d
: a cut stem of a plant with its flower
a bouquet of flowers
e
: bloom entry 2 sense 1b
lilacs in full flower
2
a
: the best part or example
the flower of our youth
b
: the finest most vigorous period
wasted the flower of their lives
c
: a state of blooming or flourishing
in full flower
3
flowers plural : a finely divided powder produced especially by condensation or sublimation
flowers of sulfur
flowered adjective
flowerful adjective
flowerless adjective
flowerlike adjective

Illustration of flower

Illustration of flower
  • 1 filament
  • 2 anther
  • 3 stigma
  • 4 style
  • 5 petal
  • 6 ovary
  • 7 sepal
  • 8 pedicel
  • 9 stamen
  • 10 pistil
  • 11 perianth

flower

2 of 2

verb

flowered; flowering; flowers

intransitive verb

1
a
: develop
flowered into young womanhood
2
: to produce flowers : blossom

transitive verb

1
: to cause to bear flowers
2
: to decorate with flowers or floral designs
flowerer noun

Example Sentences

Noun We planted flowers in the garden. He sent her a bouquet of flowers. He wore a single flower in his lapel. Verb This tree flowers in early spring. The plant will flower every other year. His genius flowered at the university. a political movement that began to flower during the 1960s See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Gift each guest with a small flower arrangement on their plates to celebrate the season of giving before anyone even picks up a fork. Helena Madden, ELLE Decor, 17 Nov. 2022 Of course, classic flower still dominates the market. Arshad Lasi, Rolling Stone, 16 Nov. 2022 Inside, the tables are square and wooden and graced with flower bouquets that Pereira sculpted from recycled napkins. Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2022 For the directors watching the boy grow is like watching a flower bloom in the desert. Liza Foreman, Variety, 15 Nov. 2022 Inspired by an original May Morris design, this Morris & Co. wallpaper showcases birds and flower heads in a fruit tree, adding whimsy to a very adult space. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, 15 Nov. 2022 Perfect for Christmas, this living flower garland is the perfect way to add color to your holiday table. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Nov. 2022 This swap happens twice a year, right after each flower has had its day. Catie Marron, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2022 Fresh's nourishing treatment toner, made with glycerin, rose flower water and oil, proves that not all toners strip skin and leave it dehydrated. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, 13 Nov. 2022
Verb
Many summer-blooming shrubs set their flowers on the current season’s growth so they can be pruned heavily in winter and will usually still flower the following summer. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 22 Oct. 2022 The good news, however, is new plants, called pups, can form at the base to flower in not a century, but about 10 or so years. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 10 Sep. 2022 The effort was launched in July 2020, showing what can flower when neighbors unite. Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2022 Nutsedge will flower and produce seeds when not mowed, but the seeds generally do not germinate. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 20 Aug. 2022 The plant may flower in winter in milder climates, but it's generally considered an annual. Terri Robertson, Country Living, 1 Aug. 2022 Yarrow looks beautiful in a lawn, Breece added, but doesn’t flower well at short heights. oregonlive, 18 July 2022 Only plants still in bloom or expected to flower shortly like hydrangeas, bougainvillea, gardenias and similar would not be pruned until later in the year. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 19 Feb. 2022 The herbaceous peony needs a period of winter chilling (temperatures below freezing) to flower well. Sunset Magazine, 13 July 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English flour, flur "blossom of a plant, prime of life, best of a class, ground grain free of bran," borrowed from Anglo-French flour, flur (also continental Old French), going back to Latin flōr-, flōs "flower, bloom, flourishing condition, choicest part, best of a class," going back to Indo-European *bhleh3-os, s-stem derivative from the verbal base *bhleh3- "bloom, break into flower" — more at blow entry 3

Verb

Middle English flouren "(of a plant) to blossom, to bloom, be vigourous," derivative of flour, flur flour entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of flower was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near flower

Cite this Entry

“Flower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flower. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

flower 1 of 2

noun

flow·​er ˈflau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce flower (audio)
1
a
: a specialized plant part that occurs singly or in clusters, possesses often colorful petals or sepals, and bears reproductive organs involved in the development of seeds and fruit : blossom
b
: a cluster of small flowers growing closely together that resembles and is often viewed as a single flower : inflorescence
a hydrangea flower
c
: a plant grown or valued for its flowers
planted flowers
d
: a cut stem of a plant with its flower
a bouquet of flowers
2
: the best part or example
in the flower of his youth
flowerless adjective
flowerlike adjective

flower

2 of 2

verb

1
: to produce flowers : bloom
2

More from Merriam-Webster on flower

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