• synonyms


  1. (italics) the ship in which the Pilgrims sailed from Southampton to the New World in 1620.
  2. (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.
  3. (lowercase) the trailing arbutus, Epigaea repens: the state flower of Massachusetts.
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Origin of Mayflower

First recorded in 1560–70; May + flower
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mayflower


  1. any of various plants that bloom in May
  2. US and Canadian another name for trailing arbutus
  3. British another name for hawthorn, cowslip, marsh marigold
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  1. the Mayflower the ship in which the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth to Massachusetts in 1620
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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.

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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.

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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.