pol·​len ˈpä-lən How to pronounce pollen (audio)
: a mass of microspores in a seed plant appearing usually as a fine dust
: a dusty bloom on the body of an insect

Examples of pollen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Similar to other bees, these insects get pollen and nectar from flowers and crops, such as sunflowers, wildflowers and stone fruits. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2023 The tar pits provide a remarkably complete cross-section of life at the time, preserving birds, small reptiles, insects, plants and even pollen that fell into the muck along with larger mammals. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2023 This one can take on all the unwanted houseguests, from pollen and smoke to germs. Jasmine Gomez, Women's Health, 11 Aug. 2023 That covers dander, dust, pollen, and potentially other allergens. Mia Huelsbeck, Peoplemag, 11 July 2023 Birch pollen and evening primrose seeds collected from the contaminated areas around Chernobyl have shown improved DNA repair systems since the accident. Monique Brouillette, Popular Mechanics, 6 July 2023 Mites, thrips, aphids and some pollen and plant juices round out their diet. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 July 2023 The steam cycle doubles as sanitation and removes germs, bacteria, pollen, and dust mites, as well as wrinkles and static. Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023 This is not the kind of pollen that erupts in clouds of sulfur yellow, to be inhaled by unsuspecting humans who then run to the pharmacy for a gallon-sized bottle of Sinex spray. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


New Latin pollin-, pollen, from Latin, fine flour

First Known Use

1723, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pollen was in 1723

Dictionary Entries Near pollen

Cite this Entry

“Pollen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pollen. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pol·​len ˈpäl-ən How to pronounce pollen (audio)
: a mass of tiny particles in the anthers of a flower that fertilize the seeds and usually appear as fine yellow dust

Medical Definition


pol·​len ˈpäl-ən How to pronounce pollen (audio)
: a mass of male spores in a seed plant appearing usually as a fine dust

More from Merriam-Webster on pollen

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