pimpernel

[ pim-per-nel, -nl ]
/ ˈpɪm pərˌnɛl, -nl /

noun

a plant belonging to the genus Anagallis, of the primrose family, especially A. arvensis(scarlet pimpernel ), having scarlet or white flowers that close at the approach of bad weather.

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Origin of pimpernel

1400–50; late Middle English pympernele<Middle French pimprenelle, nasalized variant of Old French piprenelle<Late Latin *piperīnella, equivalent to piperpepper + -īn--ine1 + -ella diminutive suffix; replacing Old English pipeneale<Late Latin pipīnella, syncopated variant of *piperīnella

Words nearby pimpernel

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for pimpernel

pimpernel
/ (ˈpɪmpəˌnɛl, -nəl) /

noun

any of several plants of the primulaceous genus Anagallis, such as the scarlet pimpernel, typically having small star-shaped flowers
any of several similar and related plants, such as Lysimachia nemorum (yellow pimpernel)

Word Origin for pimpernel

C15: from Old French pimpernelle, ultimately from Latin piper pepper; compare Old English pipeneale
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