Definition of cyme in US English:



  • A flower cluster with a central stem bearing a single terminal flower that develops first, the other flowers in the cluster developing as terminal buds of lateral stems.

    Compare with raceme
    • ‘Leaves of C. orbiculatus are broader, and the flowers are borne in axillary cymes.’
    • ‘This pattern is most clearly observed in shoots with five to seven cymes, while in shoots with two to four cymes male flowers are also frequently produced in basal positions.’
    • ‘The flat, star-shaped flowers are 1-cm across, range in color from maroon in the sun to pale beige in the shade, and are displayed in loose cymes in the leaf axils.’


Early 18th century (denoting the unopened head of a plant): from French, literally ‘summit’, from a popular variant of Latin cyma.