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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.]
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.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


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)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"Well, a booky as big almost as a haystack; I have put up two bottles of the gillyflower water for Mrs.
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.
Meanwhile, her new Mistress of the Robes is Diana Rigg (Doctor Who fans will be in orbit to see Clara Oswald and Winifred Gillyflower back together again).
Jenna and Dame Diana know each other already after the veteran actress played Winifred Gillyflower in the Doctor Who episode, The Crimson Horror.
As sci-fi fans might remember, Diana Rigg played Winifred Gillyflower with Jenna Coleman in Doctor Who's The Crimson Horror.
He was born in Worcestershire in 1749, teapot and the Gillyflower inscribed "Estimate PS the son of a local rector, the Rev Richard Turner of Comberton.
Repetitions and retrains become the means of exposing gaps and fissures in a mind's-or a community's-civilized controls, in poems whose psychological complexities recall Browning, while their formal and narrative conventions look to both Anglo-Scottish balladry and to English and continental medieval verse ("The Wind," "The Gillyflower of Gold," "Concerning Geffray Teste Noire," "Two Red Roses Across the Moon," "The Tune of Seven Towers").