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[suhn-flou-er] /ˈsʌnˌflaʊ ər/
any of various composite plants of the genus Helianthus, as H. annuus, having showy, yellow-rayed flower heads often 12 inches (30 cm) wide, and edible seeds that yield an oil with a wide variety of uses: the state flower of Kansas.
Also called aster. Furniture. a conventionalized flower motif carved in the center panels of a Connecticut chest.
Origin of sunflower
1555-65; translation of Latin flōs sōlis flower of the sun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sunflower
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I can call myself a sunflower, or Black-eyed Susan, or some other yellow thing.

    The Green Satin Gown Laura E. Richards
  • Did you ever think that the sunflower was once a lovely girl?

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • Here's Engle's mare, sunflower, the favourite and comes fourth.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • Call her the—the 'Geranium'—the 'sunflower'—what's the name of that doll baby of yours?

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • An elephant can be identified as a sunflower—both have long stems.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
British Dictionary definitions for sunflower


any of several American plants of the genus Helianthus, esp H. annuus, having very tall thick stems, large flower heads with yellow rays, and seeds used as food, esp for poultry: family Asteraceae (composites) See also Jerusalem artichoke
sunflower seed oil, the oil extracted from sunflower seeds, used as a salad oil, in the manufacture of margarine, etc
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 sunflower

1560s, "heliotrope;" in reference to the helianthus (introduced to Europe 1510 from America by the Spaniards) it is attested from 1590s. From sun (n.) + flower (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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