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Any of several plants having fragrant flowers, especially the carnation, stock, or wallflower.

[Alteration (influenced by flower) of Middle English gilofre, from Old French gilofre, girofle, clove, from Late Latin gariofilum, from Greek karuophullon : karuon, nut; see kar- in Indo-European roots + phullon, leaf; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]


(ˈdʒɪlɪˌflaʊə) or


1. (Plants) any of several plants having fragrant flowers, such as the stock and wallflower
2. (Plants) an archaic name for carnation
[C14: changed (through influence of flower) from gilofre, from Old French girofle, from Medieval Latin, from Greek karuophullon clove tree, from karuon nut + phullon leaf]


or gil•li•flow•er

(ˈdʒɪl iˌflaʊ ər)

1. any of several pinks of the genus Dianthus.
2. any of various other usu. fragrant flowers, esp. a stock, Matthiola incana.
[1300–50; alter. (by association with flower) of Middle English gilofre, geraflour < Old French gilofre, girofle < Latin caryophyllum < Greek karyóphyllon clove (káryo(n) nut + phýllon leaf)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gillyflower - any of several Old World plants cultivated for their brightly colored flowersgillyflower - any of several Old World plants cultivated for their brightly colored flowers
flower - a plant cultivated for its blooms or blossoms
genus Matthiola, Matthiola - genus of Old World plants grown as ornamentals
brompton stock, Matthiola incana - European plant with racemes of sweet-scented flowers; widely cultivated as an ornamental
2.gillyflower - Eurasian plant with pink to purple-red spice-scented usually double flowersgillyflower - Eurasian plant with pink to purple-red spice-scented usually double flowers; widely cultivated in many varieties and many colors
garden pink, pink - any of various flowers of plants of the genus Dianthus cultivated for their fragrant flowers
References in classic literature ?
An' to think as he might ha' Mary Burge, an' be took partners, an' be a big man wi' workmen under him, like Mester Burge--Dolly's told me so o'er and o'er again--if it warna as he's set's heart on that bit of a wench, as is o' no more use nor the gillyflower on the wall.
Well, a booky as big almost as a haystack; I have put up two bottles of the gillyflower water for Mrs.
The cologne is the essence of charm with peonies in voluptuous bloom, exquisitely fragile, and flirtatious with the juicy bite of red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose, and gillyflower.
CUTLINE: (1) Heirloom apples found at Old Sturbridge Village, from left, Baldwin, Baldwin, Roxbury Russet, Golden Russet, Mother, Black Gillyflower, Westfield Seek-No-Further and Mother apples.
Popular in Victorian flower beds, many have colloquial names, like gillyflower, pronounced jilliver.
Most of the remedies the mountebanks offered were herbal, including marsh mallow, balsam, gillyflower, and blueberries.
The Gillikin region, where the dominant color is purple, may have been named after the purple blossoms of the gillyflower, a plant that flourishes in upper New York where Baum spent his boyhood.