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mimosa

[mi-moh-suh, -zuh]
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noun
  1. any of numerous plants, shrubs, or trees belonging to the genus Mimosa, of the legume family, native to tropical or warm regions, having small flowers in globular heads or cylindrical spikes and often sensitive leaves.
  2. any of various similar or related plants, especially of the genus Acacia, as the silver wattle, or Albizzia, as the silk tree.
  3. a cocktail of orange juice and champagne, usually in equal parts.

Origin of mimosa

1695–1705; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin mīm(us) mime + -ōsa, feminine of -ōsus -ose1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mimosa

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Acle (Mimosa acle) gives logs up to 32 feet by 28 inches square.

  • Does any sensitive species of Mimosa grow in your neighbourhood?

  • He took a short-cut through the mimosa woods, where the ground was uneven.

    Peter and Jane

    S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

  • I asked, and the next minute I recognized the odour of the mimosa blossoms.

    Story of My Life

    Helen Keller

  • Mark the scent of mimosa—she likes flowers, and likes them strong.

    Five Tales

    John Galsworthy


British Dictionary definitions for mimosa

mimosa

noun
  1. any tropical shrub or tree of the leguminous genus Mimosa, having ball-like clusters of yellow or pink flowers and compound leaves that are often sensitive to touch or lightSee also sensitive plant
  2. any similar or related tree

Word Origin

C18: from New Latin, probably from Latin mīmus mime, because the plant's sensitivity to touch imitates the similar reaction of animals
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

Word Origin and History for mimosa

n.

genus of leguminous shrubs, 1731, coined in Modern Latin (1619) from Latin mimus "mime" (see mime (n.)) + -osa, adjectival suffix (fem. of -osus). So called because some species (including the common Sensitive Plant) fold leaves when touched, seeming to mimic animal behavior. The alcoholic drink (by 1977) is so called from its yellowish color, which resembles that of the mimosa flower.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper