1. any of the wild or cultivated, usually prickly-stemmed, pinnate-leaved, showy-flowered shrubs of the genus Rosa.Compare rose family.
  2. any of various related or similar plants.
  3. the flower of any such shrub, of a red, pink, white, or yellow color.
  4. the traditional reddish color of this flower, variously a purplish red, pinkish red, or light crimson.
  5. an ornament shaped like or suggesting this flower.
  6. a pink or pinkish-red color in the cheek.
  7. rose window.
  8. Heraldry. a representation of a wild rose with five petals, usually seeded and barbed in a symmetrical design and used especially as the cadency mark of a seventh son.
  9. any of various diagrams showing directions radiating from a common center, as a compass card or wind rose.
  10. Jewelry.
    1. an obsolete gem style or cut, flat on the bottom and having an upper side with from 12, or fewer, to 32 triangular facets.
    2. a gem with this cut.
  11. a perforated cap or plate, as at the end of a pipe or the spout of a watering pot, to break a flow of water into a spray.
  12. an ornamental plate or socket surrounding the shaft of a doorknob at the face of a door.
  13. Mathematics. a plane polar curve consisting of three or more equal loops that meet at the origin. Equation: r = a sin() or r = a cos().
  1. of the color rose.
  2. for, containing, or growing roses: a rose garden.
  3. scented like a rose.
verb (used with object), rosed, ros·ing.
  1. to make rose-colored.
  2. to flush (the face, cheeks, etc.).
  1. come up roses, Informal. to turn out all right; result in success, glory, or profit: Despite setbacks, things should come up roses in the long run.

Origin of rose

before 900; Middle English; Old English rōse < Latin rosa; akin to Greek rhódon (see rhododendron)
Related formsrose·less, adjectiverose·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for come up roses


    1. any shrub or climbing plant of the rosaceous genus Rosa, typically having prickly stems, compound leaves, and fragrant flowers
    2. (in combination)rosebush; rosetree
  1. the flower of any of these plants
  2. any of various similar plants, such as the rockrose and Christmas rose
    1. a moderate purplish-red colour; purplish pink
    2. (as adjective)rose paint
  3. a rose, or a representation of one, as the national emblem of England
  4. jewellery
    1. a cut for a diamond or other gemstone, having a hemispherical faceted crown and a flat base
    2. a gem so cut
  5. a perforated cap fitted to the spout of a watering can or the end of a hose, causing the water to issue in a spray
  6. a design or decoration shaped like a rose; rosette
  7. Also called: ceiling rose electrical engineering a circular boss attached to a ceiling through which the flexible lead of an electric-light fitting passes
  8. history See red rose, white rose
  9. bed of roses a situation of comfort or ease
  10. under the rose in secret; privately; sub rosa
  1. (tr) to make rose-coloured; cause to blush or redden
Derived Formsroselike, adjective

Word Origin for rose

Old English, from Latin rosa, probably from Greek rhodon rose


  1. the past tense of rise


  1. any pink wine, made either by removing the skins of red grapes after only a little colour has been extracted or by mixing red and white wines

Word Origin for rosé

C19: from French, literally: pink, from Latin rosa rose 1
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 come up roses



Old English rose, from Latin rosa (source of Italian and Spanish rosa, French rose; also source of Dutch roos, German Rose, Swedish ros, Polish rozha, Russian roza, Lithuanian rozhe, Hungarian rózsa, Irish ros, Welsh rhosyn, etc.), probably via Italian and Greek dialects from Greek rhodon "rose" (Aeolic wrodon), ultimately from Persian *vrda-.

But cf. Tucker: "The rose was a special growth of Macedonia & the Thracian region as well as of Persia, & the Lat. & Gk. names prob. came from a Thraco-Phrygian source." Aramaic warda is from Old Persian; the modern Persian cognate, via the usual sound changes, is gul, source of Turkish gül "rose." Klein proposes a PIE *wrdho- "thorn, bramble."

The form of the English word was influenced by the French. Used as a color name since 1520s. In English civil wars of 15c., the white rose was the badge of the House of York, the red of its rival Lancaster. In the figurative sense, bed of roses is from 1590s. To come up roses is attested from 1969; the image, though not the wording, from 1855. To come out smelling like a rose is from 1968. Rose of Sharon (Song of Sol. ii:1) is attested from 1610s and named for the fertile strip of coastal Palestine. The flower has not been identified; used in U.S. since 1847 of the Syrian hibiscus.



light red wine, 1897, from French vin rosé, literally "pink wine."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with come up roses

come up roses


Turn out extremely well, as in I had my doubts about this project, but now it's coming up roses. [Slang; c. 1960]


come up smelling like roses. Emerge untarnished from a difficult situation, have no stain on one's character, as in He was suspended for a month but still came up smelling like roses. Eric Partridge believed this usage originally was fall into shit and come up smelling like roses, but the vulgar initial phrase is now generally omitted. [Slang; first half of 1900s]


see bed of roses; come up roses; see through rose-colored glasses.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.