Definition of anemone in US English:



  • 1A plant of the buttercup family, typically bearing brightly colored flowers. Anemones are widely distributed in the wild, and several kinds are popular garden plants.

    Genus Anemone, family Ranunculaceae: numerous species, including the North American wood anemone (A. quinquefolia)

    • ‘As a native Californian, she was particularly drawn to plants that define Southern California gardening, such as agaves, bush anemones, cycads, and New Zealand flax.’
    • ‘As I sat in the garden one warm June morning, a painted lady butterfly flew down to alight on a white anemone.’
    • ‘From early March when the forsythia first bursts into bloom, to around mid-October when the last anemone dies back, my garden is a constantly changing flower display.’
    • ‘Ever since that day, every year in springtime the anemone, or wind flower, as it is known, rises from the ground.’
    • ‘While exploring the woods near his home, he came across a forest meadow erupting in purple pasqueflowers, blue lungworts, yellow anemones and white corydalis.’
    • ‘In July I found mountain anemones, blue and gold asters, rhododendrons and blue gentians.’
    • ‘In the area of the Mani where the fiercely independent Maniots lived, there were thousands of wild cyclamen, scarlet anemones and bee orchids among the tower houses that had been the refuge of this ancient tribe.’
    • ‘Plant smaller bulbs such as crocus, anemones and ranunculus.’
    • ‘Dowling's recommendations for winter production in colder regions: lilies, sunflowers, amaryllis, anemones and ranunculus.’
    • ‘They also don't eat anemones, astilbes, junipers, foxgloves, daffodils, ferns, grasses and a whole host of things.’
    • ‘These anemones are clump-forming perennials with fountains of rich green leaves to a height of about 40 cm.’
    • ‘There is stately eremurus; the foxtail lily, perfect for the back of the border; camassia, ideal for woodland plus anemones, hyacinth, iris, bluebell and cyclamen.’
    • ‘Summer-flowering bulbs such as dahlias, begonias and anemones bring variety, texture, unique color and long flowering times to summer gardens.’
    • ‘Try white lisianthus, ruby geraniums, red anemones, cobalt delphiniums, or pale blue hollyhocks.’
    • ‘Venus made Adonis an anemone when a boar killed him.’
    • ‘To preserve fragile and moist blooms such as anemones, daisies, pansies, and zinnias, use silica gel, available from florist and craft suppliers.’
    • ‘Her eyes were sometimes open, and bright blue, like anemones.’
    • ‘I saw, full out, an astonishing number of primroses, acres of anemones, violets and wild strawberry.’
    • ‘The woods are nice, carpeted in the blue, yellow and white of bluebells, buttercups and anemones.’
    • ‘In addition there are many other tempting selections such as delicate swan-like acidanthera, outrageous eucomis and allium, sophisticated calla and ixia and colorful anemones.’
  • 2

    short for sea anemone
    • ‘Cutting across our path, there was a riot of colour as dahlia anemones jostled for space with dead men's fingers and sea stars.’
    • ‘Here we found gobies, blennies and butterfish hiding among the anemones.’
    • ‘This combination means that the colourful patchwork created by the budding of different colour forms of jewel anemones, for instance, can be fully appreciated.’
    • ‘The schooling fish here are the big attraction but the walls are covered in orange soft corals and large red dahlia anemones.’
    • ‘The hull here is rich in marine life - hydroids, tunicates, anemones and sponges.’
    • ‘Our first attempt ends up with the shot on a rock covered in colourful anemones.’
    • ‘Daisy anemones provided welcome splashes of colour, but the splendid gorgonian corals ruled the fauna.’
    • ‘The fish clean the anemone's upper surface, remove parasites, drop food on the anemone, and chase away butterflyfishes that eat anemones.’
    • ‘You will find brightly coloured anemones, firebrick starfish and urchins.’
    • ‘Amongst them were contrasting patches of colour from common and jewel anemones.’
    • ‘Towards the surface, tealia anemones show off their bright reds and pinks.’
    • ‘The anemone fish shelters within the waving fronds of the anemone host, enticing other small fishes into the anemone's trap.’
    • ‘Some crabs actively seek anemones and sponges as epibionts that may be used for camouflage, and in some cases, as an emergency meal.’
    • ‘Their drab brown contrasted with the bright red of the dahlia anemones just centimetres away.’
    • ‘Marine life is as expected: spectacular walls of dead men's fingers and dahlia anemones.’
    • ‘A current pushes us along the vertical drop, past jewel anemones, bright yellow sponges and orange sea fans.’
    • ‘The top of Shark Point is covered in anemones and I have seen only sharks at Anemone Reef!’
    • ‘Huge boulders surround the site, festooned in dead man's fingers and plumose and dahlia anemones.’
    • ‘That's why you most often see clumps of anemones of the same colour.’
    • ‘The clown fish keeps the host's habitat clean and leaves scraps of food for the anemone.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin, said to be from Greek anemōnē ‘windflower’, literally ‘daughter of the wind’, from anemos ‘wind’, thought to be so named because the flowers open only when the wind blows.