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

Examples of flower in a Sentence

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
In Moscow on Monday night, a steady trickle of mourners continued to pay respects to Navalny by laying flowers at the Solovetsky stone, a memorial for victims of the Soviet gulags, under the watchful eye of a dozen or so police officers. Robyn Dixon, Emily Rauhala, arkansasonline.com, 20 Feb. 2024 Most varieties grown in home gardens bear female flowers that develop into fruit without pollination. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 19 Feb. 2024 And yet, as the tributes to Mr. Navalny poured in and the flowers piled up at memorial sites around the world and in Russia, where the police detained more than 400 people who dared to leave bouquets in the snow, critics of Mr. Putin argued that Mr. Navalny’s death could be a galvanizing moment. Mark Landler, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 Police were breaking up gatherings, throwing out flowers, and detaining journalists. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 People in Moscow brought flowers to the Wall of Grief for the second day in a row on Saturday in memory of Navalny, video from independent Telegram channel SOTA showed. Darya Tarasova and Radina Gigova, CNN, 17 Feb. 2024 So enjoy the view, but please show respect for the flowers and grower: do not enter the fields without the grower's express consent. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 16 Feb. 2024 Other signs include black spots on flowers and stunted growth. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 8 Feb. 2024 Make a statement with one of these mesmerizing confections made with a Campari lime jelly base, orange juice jelly, and sweet milk jelly flowers. Ellen Fort, Saveur, 8 Feb. 2024
Verb
All parts of the oleander (Nerium oleander), a beautiful flowering shrub native to the Mediterranean, are poisonous. Deb Wiley, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Feb. 2024 Nothing is as uplifting as a flowering garden in the spring. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 14 Feb. 2024 Visit the local garden shop and research annuals, roses and flowering succulents with hints of the color. Cameron Sullivan, The Mercury News, 8 Feb. 2024 Hedwig takes great pride in her garden, which includes flowering shrubs and creeping plants positioned to one day cover the camp wall. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, 30 Jan. 2024 Prune and spray established deciduous fruit trees and roses Prune roses to remove dead and diseased branches and to stimulate flowering in spring. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2024 Wapner herself made a seasonal floral arrangement of kumquat tree branches and fragrant flowering acacia, displaying it in a large copper chalice over the fireplace. Jessica Battilana, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2024 Beyond the pool are thickets of flowering shrubbery and evenly mown emerald lawns. Mark David, Robb Report, 12 Jan. 2024 Deadhead spent flowers from perennials, flowering trees and flowering shrubs. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flower.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 Feb. 2024.

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
Etymology

Noun

Middle English flour "flower, best part," from early French flor, flour (same meaning), from Latin flor-, flos "flower, blossom" — related to florid, flour, flourish

More from Merriam-Webster on flower

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