[ pap-uhs ]
/ ˈpæp əs /
Save This Word!

noun, plural pap·pi [pap-ahy]. /ˈpæp aɪ/. Botany.
a downy, bristly, or other tuftlike appendage of the achene of certain plants, as the dandelion and the thistle.
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of pappus

1695–1705; <New Latin <Greek páppos down, literally, grandfather (taken as greybeard, white hairs, down)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use pappus in a sentence

  • Happily the Pappi soon appeared; a fine-looking man with a beard and a kindly face.

    Through Finland in Carts|Ethel Brilliana Alec-Tweedie

British Dictionary definitions for pappus

/ (ˈpæpəs) /

noun plural pappi (ˈpæpaɪ)
a ring of fine feathery hairs surrounding the fruit in composite plants, such as the thistle; aids dispersal of the fruits by the wind

Derived forms of pappus

pappose or pappous, adjective

Word Origin for pappus

C18: via New Latin, from Greek pappos grandfather, old man, old man's beard, hence: pappus, down
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

Scientific definitions for pappus

[ păpəs ]

Plural pappi (păpī)
A structure made of scales, bristles, or featherlike hairs that is attached to the seeds (called cypselae) of plants of the composite family and that aids in dispersal by the wind. The downy part of a dandelion or thistle seed is a pappus. The pappus is derived from a modified calyx.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.