(italics) the ship in which the Pilgrims sailed from Southampton to the New World in 1620.
(lowercase) any of various plants that blossom in May as the hepatica or anemone in the U.S., and the hawthorn or cowslip in England.
(lowercase) the trailing arbutus, Epigaea repens: the state flower of Massachusetts.

Origin of Mayflower

First recorded in 1560–70; May + flower Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mayflower

Contemporary Examples of mayflower

Historical Examples of mayflower

British Dictionary definitions for mayflower



any of various plants that bloom in May
US and Canadian another name for trailing arbutus
British another name for hawthorn, cowslip, marsh marigold



the Mayflower the ship in which the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth to Massachusetts in 1620
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 mayflower

by 1620s; from May + flower (n.). Used locally for the cowslip, the lady's smock, and other plants that bloom in May.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mayflower in Culture


The ship that carried the Pilgrims to America. It made a permanent landing near Plymouth Rock in 1620, after the Pilgrims had agreed to the Mayflower Compact.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.