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

  • noun Any of various ornamental, mostly climbing plants of the genus Clematis in the buttercup family, native chiefly to northern temperate regions and having showy, variously colored flowers or decorative fruit clusters.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A genus of plants, mostly herbaceous climbers. natural order Ranunculaceæ.
  • noun [lowercase] A plant of the genus Clematis.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A genus of flowering plants, of many species, mostly climbers, having feathery styles, which greatly enlarge in the fruit; -- called also virgin's bower.

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

  • noun botany Any plant of the genus Clematis, vigorous climbing lianas found throughout the temperate zones.

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

  • noun any of various ornamental climbing plants of the genus Clematis usually having showy flowers


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin clēmatis, a creeping plant, from Greek klēmatis, from klēma, klēmat-, twig.]



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  • This always sounded like a dirty word to me. Pretty flowers, but... don't like the word much.

    November 30, 2007

  • It sounds most dirty when you emphasize the first syllable, I think. (Some pronounce it with emphasis on the second.)

    November 30, 2007

  • Well, OK, but I pronounce it cleh-MAH-tis, and I still think it sounds dirty. Even with the accent on the middle sylLAble.

    December 1, 2007

  • I agree. So I just avoid saying it. Which is more difficult than you might think when it's growing in your own backyard.

    December 2, 2007