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[prim-rohz] /ˈprɪmˌroʊz/
any plant of the genus Primula, as P. vulgaris (English primrose) of Europe, having yellow flowers, or P. sinensis (Chinese primrose) of China, having flowers in a variety of colors.
Compare primrose family.
pale yellow.
of or relating to the primrose.
Also, primrosed. abounding in primroses:
a primrose garden.
of a pale yellow.
Origin of primrose
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English primerose < Medieval Latin prīma rosa first rose


[prim-rohz] /ˈprɪmˌroʊz/
Archibald Philip, 5th Earl of Rosebery, Rosebery, Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for primrose
Historical Examples
  • primrose is now almost a young lady, and, Eustace tells me, is just as saucy as ever.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • You are walking in the woods, and you find the first primrose of the year.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • And he saw no reason why she should not make even the tariff a primrose path.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • Drivin' a depot carriage was just a side issue with that primrose blossom.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • They could be simple, as the wild rose and the primrose are simple.

  • It was a primrose—a dwarfish thing, but perfect in shape—a baby-wonder.

  • Then he crept out into the yard, through the door in the wall, and away to the primrose.

  • It was primrose Hill, in fact, although Diamond had never heard of it.

  • But Zinzendorf was not long allowed to tread the primrose path of peace.

  • Look at these four stages in the young life of a primrose, Fig. 7.

    Proserpina, Volume 1 John Ruskin
British Dictionary definitions for primrose


any of various temperate primulaceous plants of the genus Primula, esp P. vulgaris of Europe, which has pale yellow flowers
short for evening primrose
Also called primrose yellow. a light to moderate yellow, sometimes with a greenish tinge
of, relating to, or abounding in primroses
of the colour primrose
pleasant or gay
Word Origin
C15: from Old French primerose, from Medieval Latin prīma rosa first rose
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 primrose

late 14c., prymrose, from Old French primerose, primerole (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin prima rosa, literally "first rose," so called because it blooms early in spring (see prime (adj.)). As the name of a pale yellow color, by 1844.

Parallel name primula (c.1100) is from Old French primerole, from Medieval Latin primula "primrose," shortened from primula veris "firstling of spring," thus properly fem. of Latin primulus, diminutive of primus; but primerole was used in Old French and Middle English of other flowers (cowslips, field daisies). The primrose path is from "Hamlet" I, iii.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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