[ mar-i-gohld ]
/ ˈmær ɪˌgoʊld /
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any of several chiefly golden-flowered composite plants, especially of the genus Tagetes, as T. erecta, having strong-scented foliage and yielding an oil that repels root parasites.
any of several unrelated plants, especially of the genus Calendula, as C. officinalis, the pot marigold.


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Origin of marigold

1300–50; Middle English; see Mary (the Virgin), gold
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does marigold mean?

A marigold is a bright orange or yellow flower.

The name marigold can be used for any plant in the genus Tagetes. The plants are known for their flowers and fragrant leaves.

Common varieties include the French marigold (Tagetes patula), the African marigold (Tagetes erecta), and the Signet marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia).

Other unrelated plant species referred to as marigolds include the fig marigold, pot marigold, bur marigold, and marsh marigold.

Marigolds are often planted in gardens and are known to attract pollinators. Marigold flowers have cultural significance in Mexico and India, where they are often used for celebrations. Marigolds are also sometimes used in herbal medicine and even in cooking—most marigold flowers are edible.

Marigolds are one of the birth flowers for October (a flower that’s associated with a particular month in the same way as a birthstone).

Example: I planted marigolds next to my cabbages this year.

Where does marigold come from?

The first records of the word marigold come from the 1300s. It comes from Middle English and is composed of the name Mary (in reference to Mary, the mother of Jesus) and the word gold (in reference to the color of the flowers).

Marigold varieties are native to North America and South America. Most marigolds are annual plants that bloom throughout the summer season, but some species are perennial, meaning they have a longer life cycle than just a season.

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How is marigold used in real life?

Marigolds are popular garden flowers and are associated with certain events and ceremonies in India and in Mexico, like Dia de Los Muertos. The word marigold is also used in the names of other unrelated plant species.


Try using marigold!

True or False?

Marigold flowers are usually edible.

How to use marigold in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for marigold

/ (ˈmærɪˌɡəʊld) /

any of various tropical American plants of the genus Tagetes, esp T. erecta (African marigold) and T. patula (French marigold), cultivated for their yellow or orange flower heads and strongly scented foliage: family Asteraceae (composites)
any of various similar or related plants, such as the marsh marigold, pot marigold, bur marigold, and fig marigold

Word Origin for marigold

C14: from Mary (the Virgin) + gold
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