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a. The reproductive structure of angiosperms, characteristically having either specialized male or female organs or both male and female organs, such as stamens and a pistil, enclosed in an outer envelope of petals and sepals.
b. Such a structure having showy or colorful parts; a blossom.
c. A flower head.
2. A plant that is cultivated or appreciated for its blossoms.
3. The condition or a time of having developed flowers: The azaleas were in full flower.
4. The period of highest development or greatest vigor. See Synonyms at bloom1.
5. The highest example or best representative: the flower of our generation.
6. A natural development or outgrowth: "His attitude was simply a flower of his general good nature" (Henry James).
7. flowers Chemistry A fine powder produced by condensation or sublimation of a compound.
v. flow·ered, flow·er·ing, flow·ers
1. To produce a flower or flowers; blossom.
2. To develop naturally or fully; mature: His artistic talents flowered early.
To decorate with flowers or with a floral pattern.

[Middle English flour, from Old French flor, from Latin flōs, flōr-; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

flow′er·er n.
flow′er·less adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


See also botany; plants

full bloom of a flower.
the branch of ecology that studies the relationship of flowers to their environment.
Botany. the description of flowers.
Rare. an extreme love for flowers.
the habit, as of larvae, of feeding on flowers. — anthophagous, adj.
an abnormal fear of flowers.
the state of bearing small flowers as well as fully developed ones, as in the pansy, in which the small ones do not open but are pollinated by their own anthers. — cleistogamous, adj.
a greenhouse, especially one used to grow delicate, rare, and exotic flowers and plants for decorative purposes. See also music
the condition, in some flowering plants, in which the pistils and stamens mature at different times, thus preventing self-pollination. — dichogamous, adj.
the condition of having the stamens and pistils in separate flowers. — diclonous, adj.
the process of flowering or blooming. — efflorescent, adj.
the arrangement of petals in a flower before it opens; prefloration. Also aestivation.
1. the state or condition of being in flower or blooming
2. the period during which this occurs.
3. a period of great development. — florescent, adj.
a garden specifically used for the growth and scientific study of flowers.
one of several varieties of rosé characterized by their long blooming period and their large flowers, often in clusters.
the cultivation of flowers, especially of decorative flowering plants, usually on a commercial scale. — floriculturist, n. — floricultural, adj.
a mania for plants and flowers.
the condition of similarity in length and location of all the pistils and stamens in flowers of the same species. — homogonous, adj.
the Japanese art of flower arrangement, especially for the home.
the phenomenon of a regular structure appearing as an abnormality in flowers which are usually irregular. Also called epanody. — peloric, pelorian, adj.
the state of having the pistils, stamens, petals, etc., arranged around a cuplike receptacle. — perigynous, adj.
the process by which floral organs turn into foliage. Also phyllomorphy.
a rose garden.
the metamorphosis of various flower organs, as petals or sepals, into stamens.
whole or partial union of several flowers that are usually separate and distinct. — synanthous adj.
a mania for planting and growing tulips, especially such a mania in Holland in the 1630s, when a sum equivalent to $5200 was paid for a single bulb. — tulipomaniac, n.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



See Also: NATURE

  1. Primroses waving gently like lazy yellow gloves —George Garrett
  2. All white scented flowers, like the perfume of love in fresh sheets —Janet Flanner
  3. Blossoms covered trees like colored powder puffs —Rita Mae Brown
  4. Blossoms … fell to the ground like confetti —Shelby Hearon
  5. Bluebells like grey lace —Joan Aiken
  6. Bougainvillae … large as basketballs —William Faulkner
  7. The bud came apart … its layers like small velvet shells —Eudora Welty
  8. Flowers burst like bombs —Vachel Lindsay
  9. Forsythia … sprawling like yellow amoebae —A. R. Ammons
  10. A host of crocuses stood up like yellow trumpets —Howard Spring
  11. Irises, rising beautiful and cool on their tall stalks, like blown glass —Margaret Atwood
  12. The jonquils glowed like candles —Helen Hudson
  13. Lilies bunched together in a frill of green … like faded cauliflowers —Katherine Mansfield
  14. The little red and yellow flowers were out on the grass, like floating lamps —Virginia Woolf
  15. Magnolia flowers … like rosettes carved in alabaster —Edith Wharton
  16. Oleanders with their pink flowers like something spun out of sugar —George Garrett
  17. Open blooms like ballet-skirted ladies —John Steinbeck
  18. Orange and yellow poppies like just-lit matches sputtering in the breeze —John Rechy
  19. Out of the earth came whole troops of flowers, like motley stars —Felix Salten
  20. The flowers burned on their stalks like yellow tongues of flame —Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  21. Patches of tiny wildflowers … like luminous rugs on the grass —Gina Berriault
  22. Pink roses blooming like flesh —Bin Ramke
  23. The plants sprang up thick as winter grass —Annette Sanford
  24. Roses, big as a man’s fist and red as blood —Eudora Welty
  25. Rows of white flowers … throwing shadows on the azure-colored ground like trails of shooting stars —Gustave Flaubert
  26. Small blue flowers like points of sky —Philip Levine

    The simile launches Levine’s poem, The Voice.

  27. The tiny yellow flowers danced underfoot, like jewels in the dust —Mary Stewart
  28. The tulip-beds across the road flamed like throbbing rings of fire —Oscar Wilde
  29. Tulips … bright as the showers —Dame Edith Sitwell
  30. Variations of flowers are like variations in music, often beautiful as such, but almost always inferior to the theme on which they are founded, the original air —Leigh Hunt
  31. The yellow dandelions rose up like streaks of golden light —Guy De Maupassant
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The morning wind gently rocked them to and fro, and the sun shone warmly down upon the dewy grass, where butterflies spread their gay wings, and bees with their deep voices sung among the flowers; while the little birds hopped merrily about to peep at them.
On a silvery mushroom was spread the breakfast; little cakes of flower-dust lay on a broad green leaf, beside a crimson strawberry, which, with sugar from the violet, and cream from the yellow milkweed, made a fairy meal, and their drink was the dew from the flowers' bright leaves.
THE FLOWER GIRL [picking up her scattered flowers and replacing them in the basket] There's menners f' yer!
So the old woman continued, 'The most beautiful woman in the whole world is the daughter of the Queen of the Flowers, who has been captured by a dragon.
It was a lovely country, with plenty of flowers and fruit trees and sunshine to cheer them, and had they not felt so sorry for the poor Scarecrow, they could have been very happy.
By the next year he had obtained flowers of a perfect nut-brown, and Boxtel espied them in the border, whereas he had himself as yet only succeeded in producing the light brown.
In May and June come pinks of all sorts, specially the blushpink; roses of all kinds, except the musk, which comes later; honeysuckles; strawberries; bugloss; columbine; the French marigold, flos Africanus; cherry-tree in fruit; ribes; figs in fruit; rasps; vineflowers; lavender in flowers; the sweet satyrian, with the white flower; herba muscaria; lilium convallium; the apple-tree in blossom.
NOTHING earthly save the ray(Thrown back from flowers) of Beauty's eye, As in those gardens where the day Springs from the gems of Circassy - O !
persons are obliged to content themselves with flowers in pots; there lived two little children, who had a garden somewhat larger than a flower-pot.
When our plant, by this process of the continued preservation or natural selection of more and more attractive flowers, had been rendered highly attractive to insects, they would, unintentionally on their part, regularly carry pollen from flower to flower; and that they can most effectually do this, I could easily show by many striking instances.
"Would you let me look at those flowers you have in your hand?"
At last he dreamt one night that he found a beautiful purple flower, and that in the middle of it lay a costly pearl; and he dreamt that he plucked the flower, and went with it in his hand into the castle, and that everything he touched with it was disenchanted, and that there he found his Jorinda again.