Chinese primrose

Origin of Chinese primrose

First recorded in 1815–25


  1. 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.
  2. evening primrose.
  3. pale yellow.
  1. of or relating to the primrose.
  2. Also prim·rosed. abounding in primroses: a primrose garden.
  3. of a pale yellow.

Origin of primrose

1375–1425; late Middle English primerose < Medieval Latin prīma rosa first rose Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for chinese primrose


  1. any of various temperate primulaceous plants of the genus Primula, esp P. vulgaris of Europe, which has pale yellow flowers
  2. short for evening primrose
  3. Also called: primrose yellow a light to moderate yellow, sometimes with a greenish tinge
  1. of, relating to, or abounding in primroses
  2. of the colour primrose
  3. pleasant or gay

Word Origin for primrose

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

Word Origin and History for chinese 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