Definition of flower in English:



  • 1The seed-bearing part of a plant, consisting of reproductive organs (stamens and carpels) that are typically surrounded by a brightly colored corolla (petals) and a green calyx (sepals)

    • ‘These cells may then become a new branch, or perhaps on a flower become petals and stamens.’
    • ‘The phenology index was calculated as the proportion of flowers with dehiscent stamens.’
    • ‘Males produce only staminate flowers with stamens and no vestigial pistils.’
    • ‘These plants have pale yellow flowers with five petals and are insect pollinated.’
    • ‘Beetles did not move to unopened flowers as long as petals were covered by sepals.’
    • ‘Unisexual flowers with three white petals produce numerous stamens or carpels and both present floral nectar.’
    • ‘Rose petals, lavender flowers, mint leaves and many other parts of plants are made into tea.’
    • ‘Though you might not guess it by looking at them, they are flowering plants, producing numerous tiny flowers without showy petals.’
    • ‘Anthers were isolated from flowers at anthesis and pollen grains were collected.’
    • ‘Even the number of petals on a flower can change after leaf removal.’
    • ‘The bisexual flowers generally consist of carpels and staminodes inserted on the same whorl.’
    • ‘Pistillate flowers are polymorphic for dehiscence and sepal number.’
    • ‘Closed flowers were stripped of sepals, petals and anthers just prior to stigma maturity.’
    • ‘As for calculation of the selfing rate, self-pollination was with pollen from other flowers of the same plant.’
    • ‘The sun poured gently down onto a flat stone, surrounded by brightly coloured flowers.’
    • ‘The pistil and the stamen of the flowers are the specialized organs responsible for the reproductive processes.’
    • ‘Ethylene production from whole flowers, petals, and the gynoecium (ovary plus styles) was examined at a given time of senescence.’
    • ‘At your feet you may see Dianella, a low growing plant which has white flowers with three petals.’
    • ‘I didn't see anything but green plants, brightly coloured flowers, and brown earth.’
    • ‘In the field the plants displayed many flowers at full anthesis.’
    bloom, blossom, floweret, floret
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    1. 1.1A brightly colored and conspicuous example of the flower of a plant together with its stalk, typically used with others as a decoration or gift.
      ‘I stopped to buy Bridget some flowers’
      • ‘C'mon lads, when was the last time you bought a bunch of flowers?’
      • ‘Try to pick the flowers, bag and bin them to prevent seeding.’
      • ‘The simplicity of a ribbon-tied bunch of long stalk flowers is absolutely alluring.’
      • ‘What I did was I picked flowers everywhere where he'd been and I pressed them in a book and I took them home to my mother, because it meant a lot more to her even than it did to me.’
      • ‘And even Mr Hague's attempts to buy a bunch of flowers for his wife were hijacked.’
      • ‘He picked up the flowers as if on a sudden impulse, and he winked at the old woman, as if he had some shining joke to share with her.’
      • ‘As I crossed the hospital grounds, I noticed some really beautiful flowers; I picked them up for my vase.’
      • ‘Now even the sale of flowers and sweets is picking up on the net.’
      • ‘A wreath of white roses from Princes William and Harry, and a wreath of flowers picked from Prince Charles' garden at his Highgrove Estate, ringed the altar on the floor.’
      • ‘She picked the flowers, the linens, the table service, the music, the program - everything.’
      • ‘Should I go out and buy a bunch of flowers and lay them by the side of the pavement where poor sad Paul keeled over and breathed his last?’
      • ‘One day, as she was picking flowers while her sisters were gone, Hermaphroditus was passing through the countryside.’
      • ‘The carved decorations feature flowers, birds, animals, paintings and people's daily life.’
      • ‘On the first anniversary of Debbie's death, the tight-knit family came up to York together to lay flowers at the site of the accident.’
      • ‘The pottery workshop is filled with exquisitely painted plates for decoration, with flowers and birds the main motifs.’
      • ‘Nor was this the hothouse perfume of fashionable London ladies; it was the delicate fragrance of hundreds of spring flowers, all together in a warm room.’
      • ‘Buy some scented candles, even go out and pick some flowers.’
      • ‘I picked up the flowers and smelt them gaily for extra effect, but he was already crying and too wrapped up in his own world to notice me.’
      • ‘Best of all, picking the flowers prolongs the flowering period, so both the inner gardener and the interior decorator in you will be happy.’
      • ‘She often goes there to buy fresh flowers to decorate her big residence.’
    2. 1.2The state or period in which a plant's flowers have developed and opened.
      ‘the roses were just coming into flower’
      • ‘The daffodils seem to have gone over very quickly whilst spring bulbs like bluebells and wood anemones are rushing into flower.’
      • ‘I am going to try lifting and transplanting some now, before they come into flower.’
      • ‘We are into the fourth month of the year, evenings are longer and the warm week we had after Easter has seen blossom trees coming into flower and potted plants in need of regular watering.’
      • ‘Different types of jasmine come into flower and turn your evenings magical.’
      • ‘Bulbs planted late in winter come into flower in early summer.’
      • ‘Previous year's efforts are paying dividends - many plants that we had planted and given up on have finally come into flower.’
      • ‘The wood bursts into flower, one last miracle after a lifetime of miracles.’
      • ‘Nor are cherries the only plants bursting into flower; camellia, iris, lotus and mustard flowers are abundant.’
      • ‘By the end of October or early November they will be back into flower.’
      • ‘While outside, I noticed that several spring plants are already well advanced and coming into flower.’
      • ‘Although it germinates in May along with everything else, it seldom comes into flower before September, and if the weather is cold and wet it may not come into flower at all.’
      • ‘Because the protective coating needs time to break down, it takes longer to germinate than petunia seed in its natural state and, in consequence, comes into flower later.’
      • ‘Like many other giants, they are also wonderful to watch through the season as they keep on growing and then come into flower when more growth would seem impossible.’
      • ‘Like the rest of the plants in this group, it comes into flower just as the large Rosa mundi, which blooms wonderfully once in June, has faded.’
      • ‘It is a wonderful sight throughout the summer months as the different species come into flower.’
      • ‘Tubers were harvested on August 17, just as the plants were coming into flower and before the tubers were fully mature.’
      • ‘Be kind to the trees and they will bloom into flower for you and attract a flock of honeysuckers and a swarm of bees.’
      • ‘And every summer the threat to livestock increases as the plant comes into flower in its millions.’
      • ‘The people in charge of arranging such operations know full well that dandelions come into flower at much the same time as our daffodils and then take over as the daffodils fade away.’
      • ‘It has far outlasted the bowls of hyacinth and narcissi that came into flower at the same time.’
  • 2The finest individuals out of a number of people or things.

    ‘the flower of college track athletes’
    • ‘But Shanley is simply the flower of the sexual libertinism that our culture advocates in a million voices.’
    • ‘From a country with only 3.5 million people, the troops - the flower of Albania's youth - represent the best Albania has to offer.’
    • ‘The Croats were defeated and left the flower of their nobility on the field.’
    • ‘‘Of course I would forgive you, you are my youngest daughter, the flower of our family,’ Christiana cried.’
    • ‘For the resurrection of this Isis, the Simphonie du Marais spared no effort, bringing together some excellent players and the flower of French Baroque singing.’
    • ‘It certainly is an evocative month for visiting Flanders, where the flower of European youth died in a morass of mud and blood in the First World War.’
    • ‘No-one had been so consistently maniacal throughout the entire tournament or spilt more blood as he single-handedly destroyed the flower of Britain's youth.’
    • ‘First up to bat, then, is the flower of the British press, the Sun, which claims to have identified the intern in question and talked to her parents.’
    • ‘However, through no fault of the weapons designers, France did indeed send the flower of her youth off to war in August of 1914 armed with the obsolete Lebel M1886 - M93.’
    best, finest, top, pick, choice, choicest, prime, cream, prize, treasure, pearl, gem, jewel, the jewel in the crown, the crème de la crème, first class, elite, elect
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    1. 2.1The period of optimum development.
      ‘a young policeman in the flower of his life gunned down’
      • ‘Just as these young men and women were in the flower of their youth.’
      • ‘May Carrie and Vivian, victims in different ways and in the flower of youth, rest together in peace.’
      • ‘In the translation of W.D. Ross, it ‘supervenes as the bloom of youth does on those in the flower of their age’.’
      • ‘She may be beautiful now, but then she was in the flower of her youth.’
      • ‘Only an instant before a son, a husband, a father, a proud, strong man in the flower of youth, and now only food for the birds of the air and the wild dogs which prowl the edges of the battlefield.’
      • ‘It does show that globalization doesn't countenance national pride - which Japan is coming to recognize even in the automotive sector which used to be the flower of its industrial prowess.’


  • 1(of a plant) produce flowers; bloom.

    ‘these daisies can flower as late as October’
    • ‘Unable to stand the sight of the lover who left her, the tree flowers only at night and sheds them like tear-drops before the sun rises.’
    • ‘The daffodils and the cherry trees flowering in the spring are the most popular feature on postcards or calendars, but the Gardens are worth visiting in all seasons.’
    • ‘Dad had looked so lost when he joined our group at my sister's front gate on Monday, when Sue was talking to Alison about the oleanders which grow and flower so fully in the summer.’
    • ‘From Katherine to Darwin, growers are reporting a 40 per cent increase in tree flowering.’
    • ‘In some cases, the name simply implies that the species flowers earlier than other similar plants.’
    • ‘Seedlings can be purchased in a relatively advanced stage of growth which means they will be flowering for Christmas.’
    • ‘Twenty-seven trees flowered in the first year but only 18 did so in the second.’
    • ‘Trees have flowered on the study plot in January in the past four years; fruits become mature by the following September and fall in October through December.’
    • ‘In the cool spring of 1996, mild in comparison to 1814, apple trees flowered as late as early June..’
    • ‘Each spring a pear tree will flower on the banks of the River Foss in York in memory of Miss Stuttle, who was a former pupil at Huntington School.’
    • ‘The caragana bushes would flower along the sidewalks; buildings would be painted the morning after a happy event.’
    • ‘As native shrubs finish flowering, snip the dead flowers off with the secateurs.’
    • ‘My suggestion to him was there are so many coral trees flowering that perhaps the birds just can't cover them all.’
    • ‘Winter barley now has ears fully emerged and is flowering.’
    • ‘It flowers twice in the year, and it is the fully grown but still closed buds which are harvested to be dried and marketed.’
    • ‘The tired, sun-burnt hills of summer have awoken with a new, hopeful greenness and the catalpa trees are flowering with huge white orchid-like flowers in the village squares.’
    • ‘Along the roadside were trees flowering gloriously, chiefly the magnificent African Tulip, with its spectacular orangey-red flowers.’
    • ‘One of the unlikely results of warmer seasons is that, because many trees and grasses are flowering earlier and over a longer period, there has been an increase in the length of the hay fever season.’
    • ‘The rose bush is flowering although it's still having a little trouble with aphids, which I used for target practise with my squirt gun yesterday.’
    • ‘After the almond trees flowered in February he pruned them to take out central sprouts to make them easier to harvest.’
    bloom, come into bloom, flower, appear, open
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    1. 1.1[with object]Induce (a plant) to produce flowers.
  • 2Be in or reach an optimum stage of development; develop fully and richly.

    ‘it is there that the theory of deconstruction has flowered most extravagantly’
    ‘the flowering of Viennese intellectual life’
    • ‘If this was meant as an insult, it soon flowered into prophesy.’
    • ‘This allowed those who wanted to flower and develop in an entirely new political context.’
    • ‘Since then, it has flowered into a dynamic forum to access, understand, and research the rapidly mushrooming field of Indian Literature in English, as well as to translate regional literature.’
    • ‘We're hoping that school will help these interests develop and flower, but, of course, we do not know.’
    • ‘The naughty twinkle she displayed in films such as Ghostbusters has flowered into a comic touch that knows no fear of shame.’
    • ‘He saw a faint ripple in the tides of the force as silver unfolded within him and flowered into furious life.’
    • ‘I met her the last time about a year or so ago, and she had really flowered into a beautiful, mature friendly married young woman.’
    • ‘Despite, or perhaps thanks to, the U.S. embargo of that rhythmically rich island, Cuban culture has flowered into exotic fruition in an isolated hothouse.’
    • ‘Under his aegis, the department of Gandhian Studies flowered into a bright, vibrant one, drawing students from not just all over the country, but from all over the world.’
    • ‘When she offered herself to him out of gratitude, David gently declined her offer until gratitude flowered into the maturity of love.’
    • ‘Haan proposes that some primal ideas from a Mantuan fable involving an apple tree and a covetous neighbor flowered into an epic inspiration for Milton.’
    • ‘The crowds were slow enough in the early stages and it took some years for the venue to flower into one of the best known halls in the province.’
    • ‘Kiernan's acquaintance with Faiz in Lahore flowered into a life-long friendship.’
    • ‘This high school has now flowered into a big Technical Institute.’
    • ‘This way, he gets the chance to disprove my theory that the FA had the right idea but got the wrong man and also to enable this generation, as good technically as any in the world, to flower fully.’
    • ‘Since then, however, it has flowered into a truly remarkable society.’
    • ‘Somehow it all circles back to Melvin Van Peebles, whose independent moviemaking dream has flowered into so many others.’
    • ‘Still later, it flowered into the variegated cities and states of the Middle Ages.’
    • ‘As she grew, she flowered into the most beautiful woman Egypt had ever seen.’


Middle English flour, from Old French flour, flor, from Latin flos, flor-. The original spelling was no longer in use by the late 17th century except in its specialized sense ground grain (see flour).