flower
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: En-uk-flower.ogg
  • (America) IPA: en-us-flower.ogg
Noun

flower (plural flowers)

  1. A colorful, conspicuous structure#Noun|structure associate#Verb|associated with angiosperms, frequently scented#Adjective|scented and attracting various insects, and which may or may not be used for sexual reproduction.
    • 1653, William Basse, “Clio, or The First Muse; in 9 Eglogues in Honor of 9 Vertues. As It was in His Dayes Intended. [Munday. Laurinella. Eglogue. Of True and Chast Love.]”, in J[ohn] P[ayne] C[ollier], editor, The Pastorals and Other Workes of William Basse. […] (Miscellaneous Tracts, Temp. Eliz. & Jac. I), [London: s.n.], published 1870, OCLC 1062069941 ↗:
      O Laurinella! little doſt thou wot / How fraile a flower thou doſt ſo highly prize: / Beauty's the flower, but love the flower-pot / That muſt preſerve it, els it quickly dyes.
  2. (botany) A reproductive structure in angiosperms (flowering plants), often conspicuously colourful and typically including sepals, petals, and either or both stamens and/or a pistil.
    • 1894, H. G. Wells, The Flowering of the Strange Orchid
      You know, Darwin studied their fertilisation, and showed that the whole structure of an ordinary orchid flower was contrived in order that moths might carry the pollen from plant to plant.
  3. A plant that bears flowers, especially a plant that is small and lacks wood.
    We transplanted the flowers to a larger pot.
  4. (usually with in) Of plants, a state of bearing blooms.
    The dogwoods are in flower this week.
  5. (euphemistic, hypocoristic) The vulva, especially the labia majora.
    • 1749, [John Cleland], “(Please specify the letter or volume)”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: Printed [by Thomas Parker] for G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] […], OCLC 731622352 ↗, page 106 ↗:
      {...}} for ſtill, that my virgin-flower was yet uncrop'd never once enter'd into his head, and he would have thought it idling with time and words to have queſtion'd me upon it.
  6. The best examples or representatives of a group.
    We selected the flower of the applicants.
    • The choice and flower of all things profitable the Psalms do more briefly contain.
    • the flower of the chivalry of all Spain
  7. The best state of things; the prime.
    She was in the flower of her life.
    • ?, Alfred Tennyson, Lady Clara Vere de Vere
      A simple maiden in her flower / Is worth a hundred coats of arms.
  8. (obsolete) Flour.
    • The flowers of grains, mixed with water, will make a sort of glue.
  9. (in the plural, chemistry, obsolete) A substance in the form of a powder, especially when condensed from sublimation.
    the flowers of sulphur
  10. A figure of speech; an ornament of style.
  11. (printing) Ornamental type used chiefly for borders around pages, cards, etc.
  12. (in the plural) Menstrual discharges.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Leviticus 15:24 ↗:
      And if any man lye with her at all, and her flowers be vpon him, hee shall be vncleane seuen dayes: and all the bed whereon he lyeth, shall be vncleane.
Synonyms
  • (inflorescence that resembles a flower) head, pseudanthium
  • (best examples) cream
  • (best state of things) prime
Translations Translations
  • German: Blume
  • Russian: цвето́к
Verb

flower (flowers, present participle flowering; past and past participle flowered)

  1. (intransitive) To put forth blooms.
    This plant flowers in June.
  2. (transitive) To decorate with pictures of flowers.
  3. (intransitive) To reach a state of full development or achievement.
    • when flowered my youthful spring
    • 1940 Mahadev Desai, translator, Mahatma Gandhi, An Autobiography, Part III (IX) Simple Life, original published 1927-1929
      It only needed watering to take root, to flower and to fructify, and the watering came in due course.
  4. (archaic, intransitive) To froth; to ferment gently, as new beer.
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries
      That beer did flower a little.
  5. (intransitive) To come off as flowers by sublimation.
    • [1644], [John Milton], Of Education. To Master Samuel Hartlib, [London: Printed for Thomas Underhill and/or for Thomas Johnson], OCLC 946735316 ↗:
      observations which have flowered off
Synonyms Translations Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈfləʊə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈfloʊɚ/
Noun

flower (plural flowers)

  1. (rare) Something that flows, such as a river.
    • 1886–1890, J. D. Rees, Narratives of Tours in India, page 340 ↗:
      Leaving the weavers’ village behind you, and crossing the sandy bed of the Vengavati or ‘Swift-flower,’ which, however, contained not a drop of water, you reach the ancient Jain temple.
    • 1888, John T. White, The Seventh Book of Cæsar’s Gallic War with a Vocabulary, page 224 ↗:
      Rhŏdănus, i, m. The Rhodanus (now Rhone); a river of Gaul [prob. a northern word, meaning “Swift-flower or Swift-passer”].
    • 1893, Arthur A. MacDonnell, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, page 340 ↗:
      sará-yu, f. [swift flower: √sri] N. of a river (in Oudh), in C. gnly. û.
    • 1959, Scottish Studies, volumes 3–4, page 92 ↗:
      one that flows with force and speed; the fast flower
    • 2019, Radio Times Crossword, 24 August:
      Bonnie partner with Scottish flower (5) [as a clue for CLYDE]

Flower
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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