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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nosegays
Historical Examples
  • It was half an hour later than she had expected when Clare carried her nosegays into the hall.

    Clare Avery Emily Sarah Holt
  • Then Aleck and I had to present our nosegays, which were, of course, greatly praised.

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

    A Little Country Girl Susan Coolidge
  • The gardener brings me a tray of flowers, and I make the nosegays for the day.

    Sketches of Our Life at Sarawak Harriette McDougall
  • The poles were pranked with nosegays, and a chaplet was hung round the horns of every ox.

    Harold, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Sermons must not be nosegays of flowers, but sheaves of wheat.

    The Art of Illustration Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • Yes, he bribed you to place these two nosegays on our tables.

  • Greg's stuck his ears With nosegays, and his chain is wound about Like any May-pole.

    One-Act Plays Various
  • Nor is she to furnish her contribution of nosegays to Rachel's basket.

  • Nearest of all was a young girl, holding on her lap a basket of nosegays.

    Istar of Babylon Margaret Horton Potter
British Dictionary definitions for nosegays


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 nosegays



"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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