Definitions

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

  • n. Any of numerous plants of the genus Primula, having well-developed basal leaves and tubular, variously colored flowers grouped in umbels or heads with a funnel-shaped or salverlike corolla and a tube much longer than the calyx.
  • n. An evening primrose.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. Any plant of the genus Primula.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the primrose; of the color of a primrose; -- hence, flowery; gay.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. One of a few other plants with some resemblance to the primrose. See the phrases below.
  • n. The first or earliest flower; a spring flower.
  • n. Figuratively, the first or choicest; the flower.
  • n. In heraldry, a quatrefoil used as a bearing.
  • n. A pale and somewhat greenish-yellow color.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

Middle English primerose, from Old French, from Medieval Latin prīma rosa, first rose : Latin prīma, feminine of prīmus, first; see prime + Latin rosa, rose.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin primus ("first"), + rose (Wiktionary)

Examples

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

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • 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.

    Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews

  • 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

  • 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

  • Now it is to tell us that he has found yellow archangel growing under a sequestered hedge "on the left hand as you go from the village of Hampstead, near London, to the church," or that "this amiable and pleasant kind of primrose" (a sort of oxlip) was first brought to light by Mr. Hesketh, "a diligent searcher after simples," in a Yorkshire wood.

    Gossip in a Library

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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

  • But not quite a primandproperrose?

    February 17, 2008

  • This is as opposed to a loose rose.

    February 17, 2008

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

    Joyce, Ulysses, 10

    January 7, 2007