- the blossom of a plant.
- the part of a seed plant comprising the reproductive organs and their envelopes if any, especially when such envelopes are more or less conspicuous in form and color.
- an analogous reproductive structure in other plants, as the mosses.
- a plant, considered with reference to its blossom or cultivated for its floral beauty.
- state of efflorescence or bloom: Peonies were in flower.
- an ornament representing a flower.
- Also called fleuron, floret. Printing. an ornamental piece of type, especially a stylized floral design, often used in a line to decorate chapter headings, page borders, or bindings.
- an ornament or adornment.
- the finest or most flourishing period: Poetic drama was in flower in Elizabethan England.
- the best or finest member or part of a number, body, or whole: the flower of American youth.
- the finest or choicest product or example.
- flowers, (used with a singular verb) Chemistry. a substance in the form of a fine powder, especially as obtained by sublimation: flowers of sulfur.
verb (used without object)
- to produce flowers; blossom; come to full bloom.
- to come out into full development; mature.
verb (used with object)
- to cover or deck with flowers.
- to decorate with a floral design.
- a bloom or blossom on a plant
- a plant that bears blooms or blossoms
- the reproductive structure of angiosperm plants, consisting normally of stamens and carpels surrounded by petals and sepals all borne on the receptacle (one or more of these structures may be absent). In some plants it is conspicuous and brightly coloured and attracts insects or other animals for pollinationRelated adjective: floral Related prefix: antho-
- any similar reproductive structure in other plants
- the prime; peakin the flower of his youth
- the choice or finest product, part, or representativethe flower of the young men
- a decoration or embellishment
- printing a type ornament, used with others in borders, chapter headings, etc
- Also called: fleuron an embellishment or ornamental symbol depicting a flower
- (plural) fine powder, usually produced by sublimationflowers of sulphur
- (intr) to produce flowers; bloom
- (intr) to reach full growth or maturity
- (tr) to deck or decorate with flowers or floral designs
c.1200, from Old French flor “flower, blossom; heyday, prime; fine flour; elite; innocence, virginity” (Modern French fleur), from Latin florem (nominative flos) “flower” (source of Italian fiore, Spanish flor; see flora).
Modern spelling is 14c. Ousted Old English cognate blostm (see blossom (n.)). Also used from 13c. in sense of “finest part or product of anything” and from c.1300 in the sense of “virginity.” Flower children “gentle hippies” is from 1967.
c.1200, “be vigorous, prosper, thrive,” from flower (n.). Of a plant or bud, “to blossom,” c.1300. Related: Flowered; flowering.
- The reproductive structure of the seed-bearing plants known as angiosperms. A flower may contain up to four whorls or arrangements of parts: carpels, stamens, petals, and sepals. The female reproductive organs consist of one or more carpels. Each carpel includes an ovary, style, and stigma. A single carpel or a group of fused carpels is sometimes called a pistil. The male reproductive parts are the stamens, made up of a filament and anther. The reproductive organs may be enclosed in an inner whorl of petals and an outer whorl of sepals. Flowers first appeared over 120 million years ago and have evolved a great diversity of forms and coloration in response to the agents that pollinate them. Some flowers produce nectar to attract animal pollinators, and these flowers are often highly adapted to specific groups of pollinators. Flowers pollinated by moths, such as species of jasmine and nicotiana, are often pale and fragrant in order to be found in the evening, while those pollinated by birds, such as fuschias, are frequently red and odorless, since birds have good vision but a less developed sense of smell. Wind-pollinated flowers, such as those of oak trees or grass, are usually drab and inconspicuous. See Note at pollination.