Definition for FLOW'ER

FLOW'ER, n. [Fr. fleur; Sp. flor; It. fiore; Basque, lora; W. flur, bloom; fluraw, to bloom, to be bright; L. flos, floris, a flower; floreo, to blossom. See Flourish.]

  1. In botany, that part of a plant which contains the organs of fructification, with their coverings. A flower, when complete, consists of a calyx, corol, stamen, and pistil; but the essential parts are the anther and pistil, which are sufficient to constitute a flower, either together in hermaphrodite flowers, or separate in male and female flowers. Martyn. Milne.
  2. In vulgar acceptation, a blossom or flower is the flower-bud of a plant, when the petals are expanded; open petals being considered as the principal thing in constituting a flower. But in botany, the petals are now considered as a finer sort of covering, and not at all necessary to constitute a flower. Milne.
  3. The early part of life, or rather of manhood; the prime; youthful vigor; youth; as, the flower of age or of life.
  4. The best or finest part of a thing; the most valuable part. The most active and vigorous part of an army are called the flower of the troops. Young, vigorous and brave men, are called the flower of a nation. Addison.
  5. The finest part; the essence. The choice and flower of all things profitable the Psalms do more briefly contain. Hooker.
  6. He or that which is most distinguished for any thing valuable. We say, the youth are the flower of the country.
  7. The finest part of grain pulverized. In this sense, it is now always written flour, – which see. Flowers, in chimistry, fine particles of bodies, especially when raised by fire in sublimation, and adhering to the heads of vessels in the form of a powder or mealy substance; as, the flowers of sulphur. Encyc. A substance, somewhat similar, formed spontaneously, is called efflorescence. #2. In rhetoric, figures and ornaments of discourse or composition. #3. Menstrual discharges.

Return to page 78 of the letter “F”.