[ pet-l ]
/ ˈpɛt l /


one of the often colored segments of the corolla of a flower.

Nearby words

  1. peta-,
  2. petabyte,
  3. petach tikva,
  4. petah tiqwa,
  5. petahertz,
  6. petaliferous,
  7. petaline,
  8. petalite,
  9. petalody,
  10. petaloid

Origin of petal

1695–1705; < New Latin petalum petal, Latin: metal plate < Greek pétalon a thin plate, leaf, noun use of neuter of pétalos spread out, akin to petannýnai to be open, Latin patēre to stand open (see patent)

Related forms
Can be confusedpedal peddle petal


a combining form meaning “seeking, moving toward” that specified by the initial element, used in the formation of compound words: acropetal.

Origin of -petal

< New Latin -pet(us) seeking, derivative of Latin petere to seek + -al1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for petal

British Dictionary definitions for petal


/ (ˈpɛtəl) /


any of the separate parts of the corolla of a flower: often brightly coloured
Derived Formspetaline, adjectivepetal-like, adjectivepetalled, adjective

Word Origin for petal

C18: from New Latin petalum, from Greek petalon leaf; related to petannunai to lie open


adj combining form


Word Origin for -petal

from New Latin -petus, from Latin petere to seek

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 petal



1726 (earlier petala, 1704), from Modern Latin petalum "petal" (17c.), from Greek petalon "a leaf; leaf of metal, thin plate," noun use of neuter of adj. petalos "outspread, broad, flat," from PIE root *pete- "to spread out" (see pace (n.)). Related: Petaline.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for petal



Moving toward:basipetal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for petal


[ pĕtl ]

One of the often brightly colored parts of a flower surrounding the reproductive organs. Petals are attached to the receptacle underneath the carpels and stamens and may be separate or joined at their bases. As a group, the petals are called the corolla. See more at flower.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.