[ji-rey-nee-uh m]
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  1. any of numerous plants of the genus Geranium, which comprises the crane's-bills.
  2. the wild geranium, G. maculatum, of eastern North America, having loose clusters of lavender flowers.
  3. Also called stork's-bill. any of various plants of the allied genus Pelargonium, native to southern Africa, having showy flowers or fragrant leaves, widely cultivated in gardens and as houseplants.
  4. a flower of this plant.
  5. a vivid red color.

Origin of geranium

1540–50; < New Latin, for Latin geranion < Greek geránion name for various plants the fruit of which was thought to resemble a crane's bill, derivative of géranos crane; akin to Latin grūs Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for geranium


  1. any cultivated geraniaceous plant of the genus Pelargonium, having scarlet, pink, or white showy flowersSee also pelargonium, rose geranium, lemon geranium
  2. any geraniaceous plant of the genus Geranium, such as cranesbill and herb Robert, having divided leaves and pink or purplish flowers
  3. a strong red to a moderate or strong pink colour

Word Origin for geranium

C16: from Latin: cranesbill, from Greek geranion, from geranos crane
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 geranium

1540s, from Latin geranium, from Greek geranion, the plant name, diminutive of geranos "crane" (cognate with Latin grus, English crane (n.)), from supposed resemblance of seed pods to cranes' bills; the native name was also cranebill. As a color name from 1842.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper