Definition of wallflower in US English:



  • 1A southern European plant of the cabbage family, with fragrant yellow, orange-red, dark red, or brown flowers, cultivated for its early spring blooming.

    Cheiranthus cheiri, family Brassicaceae

    • ‘Cottage gardens usually look their best in early summer, but do include plants that peak at different seasons such as early bulbs, wallflowers and violas for spring.’
    • ‘Plant out hardy biennials such as foxgloves and wallflowers in their flowering positions.’
    • ‘A small rosette of leaves appears in spring, gradually increasing in size among spring bulbs, forget-me-nots and wallflowers.’
    • ‘We have perennial wallflower, fuchsias, lobelia, dahlia and sedum still blooming - the sedum looking particularly good with deep reddish brown flowers and yellowing foliage.’
    • ‘Global warming was not heard of in 1953, but the Herald reported on the unseasonally mild weather which had led to wallflowers in bloom and apple blossom on the trees.’
    • ‘To extend the interest of the display, put layers of spring-flowering bulbs underneath plants such as winter flowering heather, pansies, ornamental cabbages, ivy and wallflowers.’
    • ‘The perennial wallflower has flowered constantly since it was planted last spring and I can't believe it was only 20 cm or so tall when it was put in.’
    • ‘A perennial wallflower planted late last spring continues to flower after having been trimmed back a couple of times with each flush of colour.’
    • ‘Try bulbs, wallflowers and pansies in spring, summer bedding for the hotter months, autumn and winter interest from chrysanthemums and foliage plants.’
    • ‘Annuals and biennials like sunflowers, cornflowers, wallflowers, forget me not and perennials like Michaelmas daisies are also good for the bird-feeding garden.’
    • ‘For filling the gaps you could add wallflowers for their good foliage and sweet-smelling flowers.’
    • ‘Plants such as primula, forget-me-nots, viola, sweet williams and wallflowers can all go in now.’
    • ‘Grape hyacinths, Pulmonaria, rock cress, azaleas, lilacs, wallflowers and pinks furnish nectar in early and mid-spring.’
    • ‘My bulb order from Brockhole this year included 500 late-flowering tulips, to be planted among the wallflowers in the beds on the top terrace.’
    • ‘This is no low-growing wallflower but rather a full-sized shrub that can grow up to 15 feet tall under the best of conditions.’
    • ‘Hardy spring bedding such as forget-me-nots, primulas, wallflowers, sweet williams and violas can be planted to fill gaps left by the removal of summer bedding.’
    • ‘Plants such as sweet pea, forget-me-nots, wallflowers, winter-flowering pansies and violas are widely available.’
    • ‘We walked on and Heiser pointed out the western wallflowers underfoot, and the prairie smoke, a flower whose thin, hairlike fruits look, collectively, like a red mist.’
    • ‘By the time the wallflowers are in full bloom you'll be finished with London for good and you can spend as much time enjoying them as you like.’
    • ‘Finally, and very much later, gilliflower became a name for flowers such as the white stock and the wallflower that, although sweetly scented, had no connection with the spice or the clove-pink.’
  • 2informal A person who has no one to dance with or who feels shy, awkward, or excluded at a party.

    ‘I felt like a miserable wallflower at a boisterous party’
    • ‘Grace, a mousy wallflower of a girl who had remained quiet until now, is pointing towards the window, where the curtains are now billowing in the wind and the tree branches are scraping against the glass.’
    • ‘As I took up my position as a wallflower and watched Lindsey dance with my cousin for the third time, I mused on the pair.’
    • ‘The story revolves around wallflower Amanda Pierce, who, like all motion picture wallflowers, is actually gorgeous - it's just that no one notices.’
    • ‘Sure, I had plenty of friends and was no wallflower, but my good girl rep had never worn off, and for good reason, all the way through secondary school.’
    • ‘The play concerns three southern sisters: a wallflower, a kook, and a failed singer but successful sexpot.’
    • ‘They are not exactly wallflowers, but their shy personalities can give others the impression of being rather quiet and withdrawn.’
    • ‘Dad's smile falters but in the end he goes to sit by mom and I'm standing by the doorway with my hand on my arm like a wallflower at a junior high dance.’
    • ‘She remained a single girl all her life but she was no wallflower at the dance halls in her day as she was a fine looking girl who had no problem getting lads to dance at any venue.’
    • ‘Those who do not meet the proper supermodel proportions or possess buns and/or abs of steel are shooed to the side of single sexual life to wait like wallflowers at a high school dance for a possible mercy date or two.’
    • ‘Frustrated, I forcefully shove out of the group and stand by the refreshment table with the small group of wallflowers.’
    • ‘Every song is guaranteed to get a groan from the dance floor but will also turn even the most rooted wallflower into a party animal.’
    • ‘She was the quiet and wallflower of the party type.’
    • ‘Maybe I'm not a wallflower at the edge of the dance floor yet, I'm still there.’
    • ‘Rhesus have distinctive personalities, ranging from individuals who are very sociable to wallflowers, and from individuals who are meek and mild to those who are extremely aggressive.’
    • ‘But if Rueter is the wallflower at a mixer that includes Brown, Maddux, Johnson and the others, he certainly blends in well with the rest of the Giants.’
    • ‘But women writers have not exactly been wallflowers at the literary ball.’
    • ‘But thankfully most of the girls at the club were not wilting wallflowers.’
    • ‘In a city of few wallflowers, she has the most enticing dance card of all and - like any celluloid high-school heroine - has overcome personal tragedy, tittle-tattle and bad boyfriends in order to get there.’
    • ‘There's only one thing worse than being a wallflower at parties, and that's not being asked at all.’
    • ‘And for any wallflowers out there, an item called Dance-Mate promises to pair viewers up with other dance fans looking for a partner to tango with.’
    • ‘You can almost imagine him at the school dance as the wallflower, smiling a secret smile to himself as he watched the gyrations and romantic aspirations of others.’
    • ‘A new dance class - where wallflowers won't be welcome - swings into action next month.’
    • ‘Females are not excluded, but it is clear that the boys are freer to be visible, to actively participate in and enjoy the event, whereas the girls generally take on the role of either wallflower or waitress.’
    • ‘Conference wallflowers rejoice: nametags that do the talking for you.’
    • ‘Never mind, of course, that Jack Kennedy did so many women in the White House that his exploits make Clinton look like the wallflower at the high school dance.’
    • ‘With a brother like that, it was no surprise the girl was a wallflower.’
    • ‘If you're tired of being a wallflower or if your dance moves aren't cutting it for you anymore, why not take some dance lessons?’
    • ‘Perhaps it never occurred to the deans, provosts, or department chairs to recognize the wallflowers of the department.’
    • ‘A plaintive anthem for all us wallflowers who hate the enforced sociability of parties and would rather hide out of the way close to the fridge.’
    • ‘The wallflowers began to gravitate to the back of the room, making more room for those who came to dance, and by the time Kay and his eight-member backing band got to ‘Alright,’ the crowd was in full singalong mode.’