Definitions

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

  • noun Any of numerous plants of the genus Primula, having large basal leaves and clusters of variously colored flowers with a five-lobed bell-shaped or salverform corolla.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A plant of the genus Primula; especially, a variety of Primula veris, in which the flowers appear as if on separate peduncles, the short common stalk being hidden beneath the base of the leaves.
  • noun One of a few other plants with some resemblance to the primrose. See the phrases below.
  • noun The first or earliest flower; a spring flower.
  • noun Figuratively, the first or choicest; the flower.
  • noun In heraldry, a quatrefoil used as a bearing.
  • noun A pale and somewhat greenish-yellow color.
  • noun A coal-tar color used in dyeing, being the potassium ethyl salt of tetrabrom-fluorescein. It is mostly used in silk-dyeing, producing pinkish-yellow shades.
  • Of or belonging to a primrose; specifically, resembling a primrose in color; paleyellow.
  • Abounding with primroses; flowery; gay.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to the primrose; of the color of a primrose; -- hence, flowery; gay.
  • noun An early flowering plant of the genus Primula (Primula vulgaris) closely allied to the cowslip. There are several varieties, as the white-, the red-, the yellow-flowered, etc. Formerly called also primerole, primerolles.
  • noun Any plant of the genus Primula.
  • noun an erect biennial herb (Enothera biennis), with yellow vespertine flowers, common in the United States. The name is sometimes extended to other species of the same genus.
  • noun [Obs.] the two-flowered Narcissus (Narcissus biflorus).

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

  • noun An early-flowering plant of the genus Primula, with white, red, or yellow flowers.
  • noun A plant of the family Primulaceae.
  • noun A plant of the genus Oenothera.
  • noun Specifically, the species Primula vulgaris.
  • noun A flower of a primrose plant.
  • noun A light yellow colour.
  • adjective Of a light yellow colour.

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

  • noun any of numerous short-stemmed plants of the genus Primula having tufted basal leaves and showy flowers clustered in umbels or heads

Etymologies

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

[Middle English primerose, from Old French, from Medieval Latin prīma rosa, first rose : Latin prīma, feminine of prīmus, first; see prime + Latin rosa, rose.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin primus ("first"), + rose

Examples

  • Elsewhere they would be called primrose, but the use of the Latin name is appropriate for this place.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • Elsewhere they would be called primrose, but the use of the Latin name is appropriate for this place.

    Visit to an Oxford College: writing as a distraction

  • Many and many a time they visited the enchanted castle; and ever since Lisbeth told the story to her friends, the boys and girls of Germany have called the primrose the

    The Enchanted Castle A Book of Fairy Tales from Flowerland

  • To know a primrose is a higher thing than to know all the botany of it — just as to know Christ is an infinitely higher thing than to know all theology, all that is said about his person, or babbled about his work.

    Unspoken Sermons Second Series

  • And it was nothing more, 'would have been a whit roused from its apathy by the information that the primrose is a Dicotyledonous Exogen, with a monopetalous corolla and

    Who Wrote the Bible? : a Book for the People

  • To know a primrose is a higher thing than to know all the botany of it -- just as to know Christ is an infinitely higher thing than to know all theology, all that is said about his person, or babbled about his work.

    Unspoken Sermons Series I., II., and II.

  • And it was nothing more, -- would have been a whit roused from its apathy by the information that the primrose is a Dicotyledonous Exogen, with a monopetalous corolla and central placentation.

    Science & Education

  • And it was nothing more, -- would have been a whit roused from its apathy, by the information that the primrose is a Dicotyledonous Exogen, with a monopetalous corolla and central placentation.

    Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews

  • On the whole, the primrose is a poet's and a painter's flower.

    Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands, Volume 1

  • The Brummel school -- that is, the primrose-glove adventurers -- were a very different order of men from the present-day fellows, who take a turn in Circassia or China, or a campaign with Garibaldi; and who, with all their defects, are men of mettle and pluck and daring.

    Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General

Comments

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  • Buck Mulligan's primrose waistcoat shook gaily to his laughter.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 10

    January 7, 2007

  • This is as opposed to a loose rose.

    February 17, 2008

  • But not quite a primandproperrose?

    February 17, 2008

  • Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,

    Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,

    Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,

    Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads

    And recks not his own rede. - Ophelia in Hamlet, (Act I, Scene III).

    April 14, 2011