from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous herbs of the genus Ranunculus, native chiefly to temperate and cold regions and having acrid juice, often toothed or lobed leaves, and usually yellow or white flowers with numerous pistils.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small, square sugar-plum, colored in a variety of tints, and somewhat creamy inside.
  • noun Ranunculus septentrionalis, a vigorous species growing on wet ground in the eastern half of the United States, with the later branches prostrate and rooting.
  • noun A name given to most of the common species of Ranunculus with bright-yellow cup-shaped flowers and divided leaves, such as

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A plant of the genus Ranunculus, or crowfoot, particularly Ranunculus bulbosus, with bright yellow flowers; -- called also butterflower, golden cup, and kingcup. It is the cuckoobud of Shakespeare.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of many herbs, of the genus Ranunculus, having yellow flowers; the crowfoot.
  • noun Any flower of the genus Narcissus; a daffodil

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of various plants of the genus Ranunculus


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • They will gladly accept the conclusion that the marvellous qualities and activities of living things and that inscrutable wonder, the mind of man, are outcomes of the orderly process of Nature no less than are the miracles which we call a buttercup, a rock crystal, a glacier, the noon-day sun!

    More Science From an Easy Chair 1888

  • Lieutenant Peary found making gay the frosty fields of Greenland, in buttercup-yellow and orange and white; the great Orientals, gorgeous beyond expression; the immense single white California variety.

    An Island Garden 1894

  • Mar 2nd, 2010 at 2: 37 pm kcijones001: buttercup is 400 times better than magnolia; cake is better, not great because they’re not consistent ..

    Buttercup Bake Shop Saying F You to Magnolia With Free Cupcakes? | Midtown Lunch - Finding Lunch in the Food Wasteland of NYC's Midtown Manhattan 2010

  • But the glitter of the buttercup, which is as nothing to the glitter of a gold dollar in the eyes of a practical farmer, fills him with wrath when this immigrant takes possession of his pastures.

    Wild Flowers Worth Knowing Neltje Blanchan 1891

  • Like the ox-eye daisy, the buttercup is a typical meadow flower, tall, so that it tops the grasses and catches the sun in its petals, thin-foliaged, for no real grass-growing flower has broad or remarkable leaves, and with

    The Naturalist on the Thames 1882

  • The outskirts of this level water-meadow were diversified by rounded and hollow pastures, where just now every flower that was not a buttercup was a daisy.

    Far from the Madding Crowd 1874

  • The outskirts of this level water-meadow were diversified by rounded and hollow pastures, where just now every flower that was not a buttercup was a daisy.

    Far from the Madding Crowd 1874

  • Also known as buttercup, it is sweet but not watery and its texture reminds me of chestnuts. - Stuff By RUTH PRETTY 2010

  • Great care should be taken, however, that it is a plant of the correct species, for in the etiquette of courtship all flowers have different meanings and many a promising affair has been ruined because a suitor sent his lady a buttercup, meaning "That's the last dance I'll ever take you to, you big cow," instead of a plant with a more tender significance.

    Perfect Behavior 1922

  • The buttercup which is tall with a flower at the end of a high firm stalk and leaves with slender spike fingers, if it grows in an open meadow, becomes a stunted flower on a short stem, and its leaves form squat webs, in order to force its growth on a close-cropped lawn.

    Women's Wild Oats Essays on the Re-fixing of Moral Standards 1897


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  • The pinup bum-boat lady, immortalized in song by Gilbert and Sullivan.

    February 9, 2008

  • The heroine and title character in William Goldman's book 'The Princess Bride'.

    February 18, 2008

  • Rosebud

    January 26, 2009

  • The sled in Citizen Kane.

    Also the print on the Laura Ashley bed dressings I bought for my daughter when she was a little girl. Pretty pink rosebuds on one side, pink ticking on the other. Ahhhh. Soooo pretty!

    January 27, 2009

  • Sionnach, what a lovely story about your mother ! Thank you for sharing it.

    January 27, 2009

  • Second that.

    January 27, 2009

  • Third. Wonderful story, sionnach.

    January 27, 2009

  • I love that story. And I know a guy just like your dad. :)

    January 27, 2009