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[nohz-gey] /ˈnoʊzˌgeɪ/
a small bunch of flowers; bouquet; posy.
Origin of nosegay
1375-1425; late Middle English: literally, a gay (obsolete, something pretty; see gay) for the nose (i.e., to smell) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nosegay
Historical Examples
  • It would puzzle a gardener to surpass the elegance and delicacy of such a nosegay.

    Aunt Deborah Mary Russell Mitford
  • Did you ever read 'Footpaths of Fate,' in the nosegay series, sir?

    The Girl on the Boat Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
  • "Well," said I, "the nosegay is yours at the price," and I held it out to her.

    Simon Dale

    Anthony Hope
  • "I must pay a reckoning for this," I sighed; but since a bargain is a bargain I gave her the nosegay.

    Simon Dale

    Anthony Hope
  • There was a nosegay for each guest, and no two nosegays were alike.

    A Little Country Girl Susan Coolidge
  • She has a nosegay in her hand, which she is taking to her governess, whom she is very fond of.

    Child-Land Oscar Pletsch
  • Pretty fellow you with the nosegay in your buttonhole to talk of selling!

    My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • This nosegay, O Khipil, it is for thee to present to thy mistress.

  • So what does he do, on obtaining the nosegay, but examine it well.

    My Lady Ludlow Elizabeth Gaskell
  • The rose in your nosegay was very beautiful a little while ago; but alas!

British Dictionary definitions for nosegay


a small bunch of flowers; posy
Word Origin
C15: from nose + archaic gay a toy
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 nosegay

"bunch of flowers," early 15c., from nose (n.) + gay in an obsolete noun sense of "gay or bright thing."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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