any of several plants belonging to the genus Dicentra, of the fumitory family, having long clusters of drooping flowers, as the Dutchman's-breeches or the bleeding heart.

Origin of dicentra

1833; < New Latin < Greek díkentr(os) with two stings or spurs, equivalent to di- di-1 + -kentros, derivative of kéntron a spur, point, sting (derivative of kenteîn to prick, sting) + Latin -a -a2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dicentra

Historical Examples of dicentra

  • The arbutus and the dicentra appeared on the 10th, and the coltsfoot—which, however, is an importation—about the same time.

    A Year in the Fields

    John Burroughs

  • Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart), red and white; one to two feet; May.

    A Woman's Hardy Garden

    Helena Rutherfurd Ely

  • Where was only desolation, after countless days the dicentra hangs out its white flags in truce to the warring elements.

    In the Open

    Stanton Davis Kirkham

  • Please look carefully at the enclosed specimen of Dicentra thalictriformis, and throw away.

  • A much more brilliantly coloured member of the same family is the Dicentra (Diclytra) spectabilis, so familiar in our gardens.

British Dictionary definitions for dicentra



any Asian or North American plant of the genus Dicentra, such as bleeding heart and Dutchman's-breeches, having finely divided leaves and ornamental clusters of drooping flowers: family Fumariaceae

Word Origin for dicentra

C19: New Latin, from Greek dikentros having two sharp points, from di- 1 + kentron sharp point, from kentein to prick; see centre
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