• synonyms


  1. any of numerous strong-smelling plants or shrubs belonging to the genus Cleome, of the caper family, mostly natives of tropical regions, and often bearing showy flowers.
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Origin of cleome

< New Latin (Linnaeus), of uncertain origin
Also called spider plant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cleome

Historical Examples

  • The Malope grandiflora and the Cleome are fine tall annuals.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy

    Catherine Esther Beecher

  • There are several kinds of Cleomella, resembling Cleome, except that the pods are different.

  • For this purpose they often use the dry, brittle stalks of the common bee weed (Cleome pungens).

  • Its therapeutic properties are identical with those of the Cleome viscosa.

British Dictionary definitions for cleome


  1. any herbaceous or shrubby plant of the mostly tropical capparidaceous genus Cleome, esp C. spinosa, cultivated for their clusters of white or purplish flowers with long stamens
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Word Origin

C19: New Latin, of obscure origin
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