- a plant belonging to the genus Anagallis, of the primrose family, especially A. arvensis (scarlet pimpernel), having scarlet or white flowers that close at the approach of bad weather.
Origin of pimpernel
Examples from the Web for pimpernel
Might it not be himself, instead of the poor mother, who was accountable for the Pimpernel?Janet of the Dunes
Harriet T. Comstock
Indeed, Mrs. Pimpernel, wonderful are the decrees of heaven!The Chaplain of the Fleet
Walter Besant and James Rice
Primulace, to which belongs the Pimpernel, the 'poor man's weather-glass'.
The blossoms of the Poppy have four petals, those of the Pimpernel have five.Wildflowers of the Farm
Arthur Owens Cooke
If this goes on Pimpernel's imitation will soon be completely out of date.The Woman With The Fan
- any of several plants of the primulaceous genus Anagallis, such as the scarlet pimpernel, typically having small star-shaped flowers
- any of several similar and related plants, such as Lysimachia nemorum (yellow pimpernel)
Word Origin and History for pimpernel
c.1400, from Old French pimprenelle, earlier piprenelle (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin pipinella name of a medicinal plant. This is perhaps from *piperinus "pepper-like" (so called because its fruits resemble peppercorns), a derivative of Latin piper "pepper" (see pepper (n.)); or else it is a corruption of bipinnella, from bipennis "two-winged." The Scarlet Pimpernel was the code name of the hero in an adventure novel of that name published 1905.