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[boo-guh n-vil-ee-uh, -vil-yuh, boh-] /ˌbu gənˈvɪl i ə, -ˈvɪl yə, ˌboʊ-/
any of several shrubs or vines of the genus Bougainvillea, native to South America, having small flowers with showy, variously colored bracts, and often cultivated in warm regions.
Origin of bougainvillea
1789; < New Latin, named after L. A. de Bougainville Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bougainvillea
Historical Examples
  • Jefferson sat in the shade of the bougainvillea and pondered some letters.

    Kit Musgrave's Luck

    Harold Bindloss
  • Wolf crossed the flags, and when he stopped by the bougainvillea his face was red.

    Kit Musgrave's Luck

    Harold Bindloss
  • Betty in white by the bougainvillea, Olivia on the veranda in her black and gold.

    Kit Musgrave's Luck

    Harold Bindloss
  • And there are palms and cypress-trees, and bougainvillea and other climbing vines.

    The Ship Dwellers

    Albert Bigelow Paine
  • The gardens are full of camellias, roses, bougainvillea, &c.

    A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam'

    Annie Allnut Brassey
  • And this time he paused, on the brink of a dark canyon of a lane, running back between walls hung with bougainvillea.

    The Fortieth Door

    Mary Hastings Bradley
  • At the far end of the quadrangle is the salon, the walls of which are covered with bougainvillea of a deep violet colour.

    Recollections of a Busy Life William B. Forwood
  • Fig. 34 represents, after Allman, a colony of bougainvillea fruticosa of the natural size.

  • Great vines of the magenta-colored bougainvillea, "the glory of Mexico," hanging everywhere, further enliven it.

    Diplomatic Days Edith O'Shaughnessy
  • They have an old house, trimmed with bougainvillea outside and lined with books inside.

    Diplomatic Days Edith O'Shaughnessy
British Dictionary definitions for bougainvillea


any tropical woody nyctaginaceous widely cultivated climbing plant of the genus Bougainvillea, having inconspicuous flowers surrounded by showy red or purple bracts
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, named after Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811), French navigator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bougainvillea

type of woody vine, 1866, named for French navigator Louis Bougainville (1729-1811).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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