- Archaic. any of several fragrant flowers of the genus Dianthus, as the carnation or clove pink.
- any of various other usually fragrant flowers, especially a stock, Matthiola incana, of the mustard family.
Origin of gillyflower
Examples from the Web for gillyflower
In a wet place the "gillyflower" was growing, suggesting our dentaria, or crinkle-root.Fresh Fields
"It's no use, Gillyflower," she would reply with a weary little smile.
Even you couldn't cut through 'ropes of steel,' my Gillyflower.
By the aid of a microscope, a 'gillyflower' was seen protecting a chrysalis.Trifles for the Christmas Holidays
H. S. Armstrong
"You're such a dear, Gillyflower," she said with that impulsive, lovable charm of manner which it was so difficult to resist.
- any of several plants having fragrant flowers, such as the stock and wallflower
- an archaic name for carnation
Word Origin and History for gillyflower
1550s, folk etymology spelling (by association of flower) of gilofre, originally "clove," c.1300, from Old French girofle "clove," ultimately from Greek karyophyllon "clove, nut leaf, dried flower bud of clove tree," from karyon "nut" (see karyo-) + phyllon "leaf" (see folio). The flower so named for its scent, so called from late 14c.