Definition of cowslip in English:



  • 1A European primula with clusters of drooping fragrant yellow flowers in spring, growing on dry grassy banks and in pasture.

    Primula veris, family Primulaceae

    • ‘Primrose, cowslip, lady's mantle, bugle, thrift, clustered bellflower are widely available in garden centres, but are all natives.’
    • ‘The land was quiet and pleasant, with teasels, cowslips, bluebells, and dark soil ridged for spuds or glowing with oil seed rape.’
    • ‘I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding cowslip grow.’
    • ‘Then I noticed a small clump of cowslips growing wild at the foot of a tree by the lake.’
    • ‘The P. veris of Linnaeus's time is still to this day known as the cowslip.’
    • ‘We received data on places around the UK where cowslips, primroses and false oxlips are growing.’
    • ‘Primroses, cowslips and swallows are everywhere and the softening in the weather is a sure sign that brighter and warmer days are near.’
    • ‘Every year the fields and banks near Down House are dotted with cowslips and primroses, all members of the genus Primula.’
    • ‘One section of the garden is devoted to wildflowers, bluebells nodding gently in the breeze, surrounded by cowslips and violets.’
    • ‘If you're lucky you might just see some cowslips and the last of the snow drops.’
    • ‘The two acre garden is fresh with scent and the colours of cowslips and foxgloves.’
    • ‘The crocus, the cowslip and its near relation, the primrose and the other early wild flowers will soon follow.’
    • ‘In the damp fields surrounding the streams I found cowslip, self heal and mayflower.’
    • ‘Primula florindae, the Himalayan cowslip, was the next in the sequence to flower, starting in late June and finishing at the end of July.’
    • ‘We rounded the corner and there, in the sunlight, was a vision of massed giant Tibetan cowslips, a beautiful saffron.’
    • ‘Mr Slaney said cowslips and primroses have flourished and a pond has developed naturally and become a haven for wildlife.’
    • ‘There are flowers running the gamut from native wildflowers such as the cowslip to exotic foreigners.’
    • ‘Banks of primroses, drifts of bluebells and clusters of cowslips are now found only in secret, out-of-the-way places.’
    • ‘And there's another fine view of the village from above if you walk up the hillside nearby and sit among the cowslips.’
    • ‘In spring, the pale, delicate yellows of stiff cowslips are succeeded by the stronger chromes of sprawling birdsfoot trefoil and buttercup.’
  • 2Any of a number of herbaceous plants.

    another term for marsh marigold

    (also 'Virginia bluebell') a North American plant with blue flowers (Mertensia virginica, family Boraginaceae).

    • ‘A dewdrop fell from the petal of a lone cowslip growing by the garden wall.’
    • ‘Other partners for pink daffodils include lavender cowslips.’


Old English cūslyppe, from cū ‘cow’ + slipa, slyppe ‘slime’, i.e. cow slobber or dung.