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[gahr-dn] /ˈgɑr dn/
a plot of ground, usually near a house, where flowers, shrubs, vegetables, fruits, or herbs are cultivated.
a piece of ground or other space, commonly with ornamental plants, trees, etc., used as a park or other public recreation area:
a public garden.
a fertile and delightful spot or region.
British. yard2 (def 1).
pertaining to, produced in, or suitable for cultivation or use in a garden:
fresh garden vegetables; garden furniture.
verb (used without object)
to lay out, cultivate, or tend a garden.
verb (used with object)
to cultivate as a garden.
lead up / down the garden path, to deceive or mislead in an enticing way; lead on; delude:
The voters had been led up the garden path too often to take a candidate's promises seriously.
Origin of garden
1300-50; Middle English gardin < Old North French gardin, Old French jardin < Germanic; compare Old High German gartin-, German Garten, yard2
Related forms
gardenable, adjective
gardenless, adjective
gardenlike, adjective
ungardened, adjective
well-gardened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gardens
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But its gardens are the delight, the delight and the pride of Damascus.

    Eothen A. W. Kinglake
  • His gardens next your admiration call, On every side you look, behold the wall!

    Essay on Man Alexander Pope
  • When you both reached the gardens she suggested that you should wear the marguerites in your hair?

    Betty Vivian L. T. Meade
  • No man's house and table, horses and gardens were so praised as his.

  • Molly, lieutenant Mulvey that kissed her under the Moorish wall beside the gardens.

    Ulysses James Joyce
British Dictionary definitions for gardens


  1. an area of land, usually planted with grass, trees, flowerbeds, etc, adjoining a house US and Canadian word yard
  2. (as modifier): a garden chair
  1. an area of land used for the cultivation of ornamental plants, herbs, fruit, vegetables, trees, etc
  2. (as modifier): garden tools, related adjective horticultural
(often pl) such an area of land that is open to the public, sometimes part of a park: botanical gardens
  1. a fertile and beautiful region
  2. (as modifier): a garden paradise
(modifier) provided with or surrounded by a garden or gardens: a garden flat
(informal) lead a person up the garden path, to mislead or deceive a person
(informal) common or garden, ordinary; unexceptional
to work in, cultivate, or take care of (a garden, plot of land, etc)
Derived Forms
gardenless, adjective
garden-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French gardin, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German gart enclosure; see yard² (sense 1)
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 gardens



c.1300, from Old North French gardin (13c., Modern French jardin), from Vulgar Latin hortus gardinus "enclosed garden," via Frankish *gardo, from Proto-Germanic *gardaz- (cf. Old Frisian garda, Old Saxon gardo, Old High German garto, German Garten "garden," Old English geard "enclosure," see yard (n.1)). Italian giardino, Spanish jardin are from French.

Garden-party is by 1843. Garden variety in figurative sense first recorded 1928. To lead someone up the garden path "entice, deceive" is attested by 1925.


1570s, from garden (n.). Related: Gardened; gardening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gardens in the Bible

mentioned in Scripture, of Eden (Gen. 2:8, 9); Ahab's garden of herbs (1 Kings 21:2); the royal garden (2 Kings 21:18); the royal garden at Susa (Esther 1:5); the garden of Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:41); of Gethsemane (John 18:1). The "king's garden" mentioned 2 Kings 25:4, Neh. 3:15, was near the Pool of Siloam. Gardens were surrounded by hedges of thorns (Isa. 5:5) or by walls of stone (Prov. 24:31). "Watch-towers" or "lodges" were also built in them (Isa. 1:8; Mark 12:1), in which their keepers sat. On account of their retirement they were frequently used as places for secret prayer and communion with God (Gen. 24:63; Matt. 26:30-36; John 1:48; 18:1, 2). The dead were sometimes buried in gardens (Gen. 23:19, 20; 2 Kings 21:18, 26; 1 Sam. 25:1; Mark 15:46; John 19:41). (See PARADISE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with gardens


In addition to the idiom beginning with garden also see: lead down the garden path
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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