The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Flower \Flow"er\ (flou"[~e]r), n. [OE. flour, OF. flour, flur,
flor, F. fleur, fr. L. flos, floris. Cf. Blossom,
Effloresce, Floret, Florid, Florin, Flour,
1. 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.
2. (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.
Note: If we examine a common flower, such for instance as a
geranium, we shall find that it consists of: First, an
outer envelope or calyx, sometimes tubular, sometimes
consisting of separate leaves called sepals; secondly,
an inner envelope or corolla, which is generally more
or less colored, and which, like the calyx, is
sometimes tubular, sometimes composed of separate
leaves called petals; thirdly, one or more stamens,
consisting of a stalk or filament and a head or anther,
in which the pollen is produced; and fourthly, a
pistil, which is situated in the center of the flower,
and consists generally of three principal parts; one or
more compartments at the base, each containing one or
more seeds; the stalk or style; and the stigma, which
in many familiar instances forms a small head, at the
top of the style or ovary, and to which the pollen must
find its way in order to fertilize the flower. --Sir J.
3. The fairest, freshest, and choicest part of anything; as,
the flower of an army, or of a family; the state or time
of freshness and bloom; as, the flower of life, that is,
The choice and flower of all things profitable the
Psalms do more briefly contain. --Hooker.
The flower of the chivalry of all Spain. --Southey.
A simple maiden in her flower
Is worth a hundred coats of arms. --Tennyson.
4. Grain pulverized; meal; flour. [Obs.]
The flowers of grains, mixed with water, will make a
sort of glue. --Arbuthnot.
5. pl. (Old Chem.) A substance in the form of a powder,
especially when condensed from sublimation; as, the
flowers of sulphur.
6. A figure of speech; an ornament of style.
7. pl. (Print.) Ornamental type used chiefly for borders
around pages, cards, etc. --W. Savage.
8. pl. Menstrual discharges. --Lev. xv. 24.
Animal flower (Zool.) See under Animal.
Cut flowers, flowers cut from the stalk, as for making a
Flower bed, a plat in a garden for the cultivation of
Flower beetle (Zool.), any beetle which feeds upon flowers,
esp. any one of numerous small species of the genus
Meligethes, family Nitidulid[ae], some of which are
injurious to crops.
Flower bird (Zool.), an Australian bird of the genus
Anthornis, allied to the honey eaters.
Flower bud, an unopened flower.
Flower clock, an assemblage of flowers which open and close
at different hours of the day, thus indicating the time.
Flower head (Bot.), a compound flower in which all the
florets are sessile on their receptacle, as in the case of
Flower pecker (Zool.), one of a family (Dic[ae]id[ae]) of
small Indian and Australian birds. They resemble humming
birds in habits.
(a) A table ornament made of cut flowers.
(b) (Fine Arts) A picture of flowers.
Flower stalk (Bot.), the peduncle of a plant, or the stem
that supports the flower or fructification.