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nosegay

[nohz-gey]
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noun
  1. a small bunch of flowers; bouquet; posy.
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Origin of nosegay

1375–1425; late Middle English: literally, a gay (obsolete, something pretty; see gay) for the nose (i.e., to smell)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nosegays

Historical Examples

  • It was half an hour later than she had expected when Clare carried her nosegays into the hall.

    Clare Avery

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Then Aleck and I had to present our nosegays, which were, of course, greatly praised.

  • There was a nosegay for each guest, and no two nosegays were alike.

    A Little Country Girl

    Susan Coolidge

  • The gardener brings me a tray of flowers, and I make the nosegays for the day.

  • The poles were pranked with nosegays, and a chaplet was hung round the horns of every ox.

    Harold, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton


British Dictionary definitions for nosegays

nosegay

noun
  1. a small bunch of flowers; posy
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Word Origin

C15: from nose + archaic gay a toy
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 nosegays

nosegay

n.

"bunch of flowers," early 15c., from nose (n.) + gay in an obsolete noun sense of "gay or bright thing."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper