Definition of flower in US English:

flower

noun

  • 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).

    • ‘The pistil and the stamen of the flowers are the specialized organs responsible for the reproductive processes.’
    • ‘These plants have pale yellow flowers with five petals and are insect pollinated.’
    • ‘Ethylene production from whole flowers, petals, and the gynoecium (ovary plus styles) was examined at a given time of senescence.’
    • ‘As for calculation of the selfing rate, self-pollination was with pollen from other flowers of the same plant.’
    • ‘In the field the plants displayed many flowers at full anthesis.’
    • ‘Closed flowers were stripped of sepals, petals and anthers just prior to stigma maturity.’
    • ‘Pistillate flowers are polymorphic for dehiscence and sepal number.’
    • ‘Even the number of petals on a flower can change after leaf removal.’
    • ‘These cells may then become a new branch, or perhaps on a flower become petals and stamens.’
    • ‘I didn't see anything but green plants, brightly coloured flowers, and brown earth.’
    • ‘The sun poured gently down onto a flat stone, surrounded by brightly coloured flowers.’
    • ‘Though you might not guess it by looking at them, they are flowering plants, producing numerous tiny flowers without showy petals.’
    • ‘Rose petals, lavender flowers, mint leaves and many other parts of plants are made into tea.’
    • ‘Anthers were isolated from flowers at anthesis and pollen grains were collected.’
    • ‘The bisexual flowers generally consist of carpels and staminodes inserted on the same whorl.’
    • ‘Males produce only staminate flowers with stamens and no vestigial pistils.’
    • ‘Beetles did not move to unopened flowers as long as petals were covered by sepals.’
    • ‘The phenology index was calculated as the proportion of flowers with dehiscent stamens.’
    • ‘At your feet you may see Dianella, a low growing plant which has white flowers with three petals.’
    • ‘Unisexual flowers with three white petals produce numerous stamens or carpels and both present floral nectar.’
    bloom, blossom, floweret, floret
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A 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’
      • ‘Best of all, picking the flowers prolongs the flowering period, so both the inner gardener and the interior decorator in you will be happy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 carved decorations feature flowers, birds, animals, paintings and people's daily life.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She picked the flowers, the linens, the table service, the music, the program - everything.’
      • ‘The simplicity of a ribbon-tied bunch of long stalk flowers is absolutely alluring.’
      • ‘Try to pick the flowers, bag and bin them to prevent seeding.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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 often goes there to buy fresh flowers to decorate her big residence.’
      • ‘One day, as she was picking flowers while her sisters were gone, Hermaphroditus was passing through the countryside.’
      • ‘Buy some scented candles, even go out and pick some flowers.’
      • ‘C'mon lads, when was the last time you bought a bunch of flowers?’
      • ‘Now even the sale of flowers and sweets is picking up on the net.’
      • ‘And even Mr Hague's attempts to buy a bunch of flowers for his wife were hijacked.’
      • ‘As I crossed the hospital grounds, I noticed some really beautiful flowers; I picked them up for my vase.’
      • ‘The pottery workshop is filled with exquisitely painted plates for decoration, with flowers and birds the main motifs.’
    2. 1.2 The state or period in which a plant's flowers have developed and opened.
      ‘the roses were just coming 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am going to try lifting and transplanting some now, before they come into flower.’
      • ‘And every summer the threat to livestock increases as the plant comes into flower in its millions.’
      • ‘Tubers were harvested on August 17, just as the plants were coming into flower and before the tubers were fully mature.’
      • ‘While outside, I noticed that several spring plants are already well advanced and coming into flower.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The daffodils seem to have gone over very quickly whilst spring bulbs like bluebells and wood anemones are rushing into flower.’
      • ‘Previous year's efforts are paying dividends - many plants that we had planted and given up on have finally come into flower.’
      • ‘By the end of October or early November they will be back into flower.’
      • ‘Different types of jasmine come into flower and turn your evenings magical.’
      • ‘Nor are cherries the only plants bursting into flower; camellia, iris, lotus and mustard flowers are abundant.’
      • ‘It is a wonderful sight throughout the summer months as the different species come into flower.’
      • ‘Be kind to the trees and they will bloom into flower for you and attract a flock of honeysuckers and a swarm of bees.’
      • ‘The wood bursts into flower, one last miracle after a lifetime of miracles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bulbs planted late in winter come into flower in early summer.’
      • ‘It has far outlasted the bowls of hyacinth and narcissi that came into flower at the same time.’
  • 2the flower ofThe 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.’
    • ‘‘Of course I would forgive you, you are my youngest daughter, the flower of our family,’ Christiana cried.’
    • ‘The Croats were defeated and left the flower of their nobility on the field.’
    • ‘From a country with only 3.5 million people, the troops - the flower of Albania's youth - represent the best Albania has to offer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The period of optimum development.
      ‘a young policeman in the flower of his life gunned down’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the translation of W.D. Ross, it ‘supervenes as the bloom of youth does on those in the flower of their age’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She may be beautiful now, but then she was in the flower of her youth.’
      • ‘May Carrie and Vivian, victims in different ways and in the flower of youth, rest together in peace.’
      • ‘Just as these young men and women were in the flower of their youth.’

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a plant) produce flowers; bloom.

    ‘these daisies can flower as late as October’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the cool spring of 1996, mild in comparison to 1814, apple trees flowered as late as early June..’
    • ‘Seedlings can be purchased in a relatively advanced stage of growth which means they will be flowering for Christmas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The caragana bushes would flower along the sidewalks; buildings would be painted the morning after a happy event.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From Katherine to Darwin, growers are reporting a 40 per cent increase in tree flowering.’
    • ‘Along the roadside were trees flowering gloriously, chiefly the magnificent African Tulip, with its spectacular orangey-red flowers.’
    • ‘After the almond trees flowered in February he pruned them to take out central sprouts to make them easier to harvest.’
    • ‘As native shrubs finish flowering, snip the dead flowers off with the secateurs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In some cases, the name simply implies that the species flowers earlier than other similar plants.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My suggestion to him was there are so many coral trees flowering that perhaps the birds just can't cover them all.’
    • ‘Twenty-seven trees flowered in the first year but only 18 did so in the second.’
    • ‘It flowers twice in the year, and it is the fully grown but still closed buds which are harvested to be dried and marketed.’
    • ‘Winter barley now has ears fully emerged and is flowering.’
    • ‘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.’
    bloom, come into bloom, flower, appear, open
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Induce (a plant) to produce flowers.
  • 2Be in or reach an optimum stage of development; develop fully and richly.

    ‘the flowering of Viennese intellectual life’
    ‘it is there that the theory of deconstruction has flowered most extravagantly’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Still later, it flowered into the variegated cities and states of the Middle Ages.’
    • ‘Kiernan's acquaintance with Faiz in Lahore flowered into a life-long friendship.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This high school has now flowered into a big Technical Institute.’
    • ‘When she offered herself to him out of gratitude, David gently declined her offer until gratitude flowered into the maturity of love.’
    • ‘The naughty twinkle she displayed in films such as Ghostbusters has flowered into a comic touch that knows no fear of shame.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Somehow it all circles back to Melvin Van Peebles, whose independent moviemaking dream has flowered into so many others.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As she grew, she flowered into the most beautiful woman Egypt had ever seen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Since then, however, it has flowered into a truly remarkable society.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We're hoping that school will help these interests develop and flower, but, of course, we do not know.’

Origin

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).

Pronunciation

flower

/ˈflou(ə)r//ˈflaʊ(ə)r/