• synonyms


  1. any plant of the genus Phlox, of North America, certain species of which are cultivated for their showy flowers of various colors.Compare phlox family.
  2. the flower of this plant.
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Origin of phlox

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin, special use of Latin phlox < Greek phlóx a flame-colored plant, literally, flame. See phlegm, phlogistic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phlox

Historical Examples

  • Tall snapdragons and lilies and sweet-williams and phlox in the garden-beds.

    Mary Gray

    Katharine Tynan

  • A few whiffs of the raw, strong scent of phlox invigorated her.

    Sons and Lovers

    David Herbert Lawrence

  • To Phlox, the novelist, she was always conscientiously brilliant.

  • I have found primroses, phlox, and mertensia on the summit of Long's Peak.

  • I have, too, some of the fine varieties of "Phlox Drummondi."

    A Garden with House Attached

    Sarah Warner Brooks

British Dictionary definitions for phlox


noun plural phlox or phloxes
  1. any polemoniaceous plant of the chiefly North American genus Phlox: cultivated for their clusters of white, red, or purple flowers
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Word Origin

C18: via Latin from Greek: a plant of glowing colour, literally: flame
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 phlox


1706, from Latin, where it was the name of a flower (Pliny), from Greek phlox "kind of plant with showy flowers" (probably Silene vulgaris), literally "flame," related to phlegein "to burn" (see bleach (v.)). Applied to the North American flowering plant by German botanist Johann Jakob Dillenius (1684-1747).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper