[ nahr-sis-uhs ]
/ n蓱r藞s瑟s 蓹s /
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noun, plural nar路cis路sus, nar路cis路sus路es, nar路cis路si [nahr-sis-ee, -sis-ahy] /n蓱r藞s瑟s i, -藞s瑟s a瑟/ for 1, 2.
any bulbous plant belonging to the genus Narcissus, of the amaryllis family, having showy yellow or white flowers with a cup-shaped corona.
the flower of any of these plants.
(initial capital letter)Classical Mythology. a youth who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool and wasted away from unsatisfied desire, whereupon he was transformed into the flower.
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Fill in the blank: I can鈥檛 figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of narcissus

1540鈥50; <Latin <Greek n谩rkissos plant name, traditionally connected, by virtue of plant's narcotic effects, with n谩rk膿 numbness, torpor. See narcotic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does聽narcissus mean?

A narcissus is a showy, cup- or trumpet-shaped flower that comes in white, yellow, and orange varieties.

The name narcissus is also used for any plant in the genus Narcissus.

The plural forms of narcissus are narcissuses and narcissi.

Common varieties include the daffodil (scientific name Narcissus pseudonarcissus), the jonquil (N. jonquilla), and the paper-white narcissus (N. tazetta).

The narcissus is popular for bouquets and gardens.

Narcissus is one of the December birth flowers (a flower that鈥檚 associated with a particular month in the same way as a birthstone).

Example: The narcissus is one of my favorite flowers鈥擨 just love its trumpet shape.

Where does聽narcissus come from?

The first records of the word narcissus in reference to the flower come from the mid-1500s. It comes from the Greek n谩rkissos, perhaps from nark膿, 鈥渘umbness,鈥 perhaps a reference to the plant鈥檚 narcotic properties.

Narcissuses are bulbous, perennial plants. They typically bloom between late winter and late spring. Most members of the genus are native to Europe. The bulbs of the flowers are poisonous when eaten for both humans and animals.

The flower narcissus is associated with the Greek myth of Narcissus, who falls in love with his own reflection and withers away and dies due to his obsession鈥攁fter which he is said to have turned into the flower that now bears his name. (His name is also the basis for the word narcissism.)

Did you know ... ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with narcissus?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing narcissus?

How is聽narcissus used in real life?

Narcissuses are popular in bouquets and gardens. The flower is often connected to the Greek myth.


Try using聽narcissus!

True or False?

The daffodil belongs to the genus Narcissus.

How to use narcissus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for narcissus (1 of 2)

/ (n蓱藧藞s瑟s蓹s) /

noun plural -cissuses or -cissi (-藞s瑟sa瑟, -藞s瑟si藧)
any amaryllidaceous plant of the Eurasian genus Narcissus, esp N. poeticus, whose yellow, orange, or white flowers have a crown surrounded by spreading segments

Word Origin for narcissus

C16: via Latin from Greek n谩rkissos, perhaps from nark膿 numbness, because of narcotic properties attributed to species of the plant

British Dictionary definitions for narcissus (2 of 2)

/ (n蓱藧藞s瑟s蓹s) /

Greek myth a beautiful youth who fell in love with his reflection in a pool and pined away, becoming the flower that bears his name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for narcissus


A beautiful youth in classical mythology who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. Because he was unable to tear himself away from the image, he wasted away and died.

notes for Narcissus

鈥淣arcissists鈥 are people completely absorbed in themselves. (See narcissism.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright 漏 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.