[ dih-flou-er ]
/ dɪˈflaʊ ər /

verb (used with object)

to deprive (a woman) of virginity.
to despoil of beauty, freshness, sanctity, etc.
to deprive or strip of flowers: The deer had deflowered an entire section of the garden.

Nearby words

  1. deflective,
  2. deflexed,
  3. deflocculant,
  4. deflocculate,
  5. defloration,
  6. defluvium,
  7. defluxion,
  8. defo,
  9. defocus,
  10. defoe

Origin of deflower

1350–1400; Middle English deflouren < Old French desflorer < Latin dēflōrāre, equivalent to dē- de- + flōr-, stem of flōs flower + -āre infinitive suffix

Related formsde·flow·er·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deflower

  • Individual inspiration was a sacred thing, which reality with its rules and prejudices could only spoil and deflower.

  • In Poland, the noblemen arrogated the right to deflower any maid they pleased, and a hundred lashes were given him who complained.

  • For she deliberately sent down to the beach her daughter, who was of marriageable age, and prompted her father to deflower her.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX|Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

British Dictionary definitions for deflower


/ (diːˈflaʊə) /

verb (tr)

to deprive of virginity, esp by rupturing the hymen through sexual intercourse
to despoil of beauty, innocence, etc; mar; violate
to rob or despoil of flowers
Derived Formsdeflowerer, noun

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 deflower



late 14c., "deprive (a maiden) of her virginity," also "excerpt the best parts of (a book)," from Old French desflorer (13c., Modern French déflorer) "to deflower (a garden); to take the virginity of," from Late Latin deflorare, from de- (see de-) + flos "flower" (see flora). Notion is "to strip of flowers," hence "to ravish," which is the oldest sense in English.

The French Indians are said not to have deflowered any of our young women they captivated. [James Adair, "The Life of an Indian Trader," London, 1775]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper