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

  • noun The reproductive structure of angiosperms, characteristically having either specialized male or female organs or both male and female organs, such as stamens and a pistil, enclosed in an outer envelope of petals and sepals.
  • noun Such a structure having showy or colorful parts; a blossom.
  • noun A flower head.
  • noun A plant that is cultivated or appreciated for its blossoms.
  • noun The condition or a time of having developed flowers.
  • noun The period of highest development or greatest vigor. synonym: bloom.
  • noun The highest example or best representative.
  • noun A natural development or outgrowth.
  • noun Chemistry A fine powder produced by condensation or sublimation of a compound.
  • intransitive verb To produce a flower or flowers; blossom.
  • intransitive verb To develop naturally or fully; mature.
  • intransitive verb To decorate with flowers or with a floral pattern.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To blossom; bloom; produce flowers; come into bloom or a blooming condition, literally or figuratively.
  • To flourish; be in a flourishing or vigorous condition.
  • To froth; ferment gently; mantle, as new beer.
  • To come as froth or cream from the surface.
  • Plants cultivated especially for their flowers.
  • To cover or embellish with flowers, or figures or imitations of flowers, as ribbons, lace, gloves, glass, etc.
  • noun In botany: A growth comprising the reproductive organs of a phenogamous plant and their envelops.
  • noun In popular language: Any blossom or inflorescence.
  • noun Any plant considered with reference to its blossom, or of which the blossom is the essential feature; a plant cultivated for its floral beauty.
  • noun The best or finest of a number of persons or things, or the choice part of a thing: as, the flower of the family.
  • noun That state or part of anything which may be likened to the flowering state of a plant; especially, the early period of life or of adult age; youthful vigor; prime: as, the flower of youth or manhood; the flower of beauty.
  • noun A figure of speech; an ornament of style.
  • noun In printing, a type of decorative design used in borders, or in constructed typographic head-bands or ornaments, or with an initial letter.
  • noun Eccles., an ornament of a chasuble, consisting in gold or other embroidery of branching or floreated patterns, extending over the upper part of the back, about the shoulders, and sometimes also in front, so as to cover the chest.
  • noun The finest part of grain pulverized. See flour.
  • noun plural In chem., fine particles of a substance, especially when raised by fire in sublimation, and adhering to the heads of vessels in the form of a powder or mealy deposit: as, the flowers of sulphur.
  • noun plural The menstrual flow.

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

  • noun In the popular sense, the bloom or blossom of a plant; the showy portion, usually of a different color, shape, and texture from the foliage.
  • noun (Bot.) That part of a plant destined to produce seed, and hence including one or both of the sexual organs; an organ or combination of the organs of reproduction, whether inclosed by a circle of foliar parts or not. A complete flower consists of two essential parts, the stamens and the pistil, and two floral envelopes, the corolla and callyx. In mosses the flowers consist of a few special leaves surrounding or subtending organs called archegonia. See Blossom, and Corolla.
  • noun The fairest, freshest, and choicest part of anything; ; the state or time of freshness and bloom.
  • noun obsolete Grain pulverized; meal; flour.
  • noun (Old Chem.) A substance in the form of a powder, especially when condensed from sublimation.
  • noun A figure of speech; an ornament of style.
  • noun (Print.) Ornamental type used chiefly for borders around pages, cards, etc.
  • noun Menstrual discharges.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See under Animal.
  • noun flowers cut from the stalk, as for making a bouquet.
  • noun a plat in a garden for the cultivation of flowers.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any beetle which feeds upon flowers, esp. any one of numerous small species of the genus Meligethes, family Nitidulidæ, some of which are injurious to crops.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an Australian bird of the genus Anthornis, allied to the honey eaters.
  • noun an unopened flower.
  • noun an assemblage of flowers which open and close at different hours of the day, thus indicating the time.
  • noun (Bot.) a compound flower in which all the florets are sessile on their receptacle, as in the case of the daisy.
  • noun (Zoöl.) one of a family (Dicæidæ) of small Indian and Australian birds. They resemble humming birds in habits.
  • noun (Fine Arts) A picture of flowers.
  • noun (Bot.) the peduncle of a plant, or the stem that supports the flower or fructification.
  • intransitive verb To blossom; to bloom; to expand the petals, as a plant; to produce flowers.


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

[Middle English flour, from Old French flor, from Latin flōs, flōr-; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English flour, from Anglo-Norman flur, from Latin flōrem, accusative of flōs, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₃ (“to thrive, bloom”). Replaced Middle English blosme, blossem ("flower, blossom") (more at blossom).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

to flow + -er


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  • "plural In chem., fine particles of a substance, especially when raised by fire in sublimation, and adhering to the heads of vessels in the form of a powder or mealy deposit: as, the flowers of sulphur."

    -- from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

    May 5, 2017