Definitions

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

  • noun A widely cultivated plant, Linum usitatissimum, having pale blue flowers, seeds that yield linseed oil, and slender stems from which a textile fiber is obtained.
  • noun The fine, light-colored textile fiber obtained from this plant.
  • noun Any of various other plants of the genus Linum or of other genera in the family Linaceae.
  • noun A pale grayish yellow.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The common name for plants of the genus Linum and for the fiber obtained from the stems of L. usitatissimum.
  • noun One of several plants of other genera, mostly resembling common flax, as the false or white flax (Camelina sativa), mountain flax (Polygala Senega), toadflax (Linaria vulgaris), New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), which yields a strong fiber, and spurge-flax (Daphne Gnidium).
  • noun The whitethroat, Sylvia cinerea: with reference to the material composing its nest.
  • noun Canvas linen, made from flax, used for sailmaking.
  • noun The field-cress or mithridate mustard, Lepidium campestre.
  • noun In New Zealand, L. monogynum; also the New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax. See Phormium.
  • noun Same as Lewis's wild flax.
  • noun Same as toad-flax.
  • noun Same as false flax.
  • noun The garden tickseed or calliopsis, Coreopsis tinctoria.
  • To beat.
  • To move quickly; “knock” about: as, to flax round (to move about in a lively or energetic manner).

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

  • noun (Bot.) A plant of the genus Linum, esp. the L. usitatissimum, which has a single, slender stalk, about a foot and a half high, with blue flowers. The fiber of the bark is used for making thread and cloth, called linen, cambric, lawn, lace, etc. Linseed oil is expressed from the seed.
  • noun The skin or fibrous part of the flax plant, when broken and cleaned by hatcheling or combing.
  • noun (Min.) amianthus.
  • noun a machine for removing the woody portion of flax from the fibrous.
  • noun a hatchel, hackle, or heckle.
  • noun the fiber of flax, reduced by steeping in bicarbonate of soda and acidulated liquids, and prepared for bleaching and spinning like cotton.
  • noun one who breaks and swingles flax, or prepares it for the spinner.
  • noun a mill or factory where flax is spun or linen manufactured.
  • noun a machine for pulling flax plants in the field.
  • noun [Obs.], [Obs.] A prostitute.
  • noun (Min.) amianthus.
  • noun (Bot.) See Flax-plant.

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

  • noun A plant of the genus Linum, especially Linum usitatissimum, which has a single, slender stalk, about a foot and a half high, with blue flowers. Also known as linseed, especially when referring to the seeds.
  • noun The fibers of Linum usitatissimum, grown to make linen and related textiles.
  • noun A plant of the genus Phormium, native to New Zealand, with strap-like leaves up to 3 metres long that grow in clumps called flax bushes.

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

  • noun fiber of the flax plant that is made into thread and woven into linen fabric
  • noun plant of the genus Linum that is cultivated for its seeds and for the fibers of its stem

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English fleax; see plek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English fleax, from Proto-Germanic *flahsan, from Proto-Indo-European *plek- (“to plait”). Cognate with Old Frisian flax, Old Saxon *flahs (Dutch vlas), Old High German flahs (German Flachs); the Northern Germanic (and most likely the Gothic too) stem is different.

Examples

Comments

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  • A plant with fern-like airy, lacy foliage and small blue flowers

    January 24, 2008