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90s Slang You Should Know


[gahr-dee-nyuh, -nee-uh] /gɑrˈdi nyə, -ni ə/
any evergreen tree or shrub belonging to the genus Gardenia, of the madder family, native to the warmer parts of the Eastern Hemisphere, cultivated for its usually large, fragrant white flowers.
the flower of any of these plants.
Origin of gardenia
< New Latin (1760), after Alexander Garden (1730-91), American physician; see -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gardenia
Historical Examples
  • Nearly twenty years ago, and the faint scent of the gardenia Florida remains in my nostrils!

    The Gay Lord Quex Arthur W. Pinero
  • Tearing the gardenia from her breast, she flung it on to his upturned face.

    Saint's Progress John Galsworthy
  • The scent of the gardenia was strong in her little bedroom, and pleasant to her.

    The Forsyte Saga, Complete John Galsworthy
  • The fellow is to wear a white top hat, and a gardenia in his buttonhole.

  • A daisy in the grass bored him; a gardenia emitting its strangely unreal perfume on a dung heap brought all his powers into play.

    December Love Robert Hichens
  • An orchid, a gardenia, even a hyacinth, was never to be seen in the little house.

    In the Wilderness Robert Hichens
  • If you are satisfied with that, wear a gardenia in your coat to-night at the Frangipani dance.

    Pietro Ghisleri F. (Francis) Marion Crawford
  • They placed upon her garlands of the fragrant na-u (gardenia).

  • He was like the anarchist with a gardenia in his buttonhole who figures in the higher melodrama.

    The Reef Edith Wharton
  • The extra whiteness showed even on her gardenia skin, and her great eyes gleamed sullenly from beneath her lowering brows of ink.

    The Reason Why Elinor Glyn
British Dictionary definitions for gardenia


any evergreen shrub or tree of the Old World tropical rubiaceous genus Gardenia, cultivated for their large fragrant waxlike typically white flowers
the flower of any of these shrubs
Word Origin
C18: New Latin, named after Dr Alexander Garden (1730–91), American botanist
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 gardenia

1757, Modern Latin, named for Scottish-born American naturalist Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), Vice President of the Royal Society.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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