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snapdragon

[snap-drag-uh n]
noun
  1. any plant belonging to the genus Antirrhinum, of the figwort family, especially A. majus, cultivated for its spikes of showy flowers, each having a corolla supposed to resemble the mouth of a dragon.
  2. flapdragon.
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Origin of snapdragon

First recorded in 1565–75; snap + dragon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for snapdragon

Historical Examples of snapdragon

  • Between the lamp and the prism I interpose a snapdragon light.

    Fragments of science, V. 1-2

    John Tyndall

  • The Snapdragon is especially adapted for fertilisation by Humble Bees.

    The Beauties of Nature

    Sir John Lubbock

  • More in the abstract, they were snatching at a snapdragon bowl.

  • As for the delicious lurid function, snapdragon, is it obsolete in England yet?

    The Retrospect

    Ada Cambridge

  • In irregular flowers, like the snapdragon and foxglove, the decoration is irregular.


British Dictionary definitions for snapdragon

snapdragon

noun
  1. any of several scrophulariaceous chiefly Old World plants of the genus Antirrhinum, esp A. majus, of the Mediterranean region, having spikes of showy white, yellow, pink, red, or purplish flowersAlso called: antirrhinum
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Word Origin for snapdragon

C16: so named because the flowers, which are claimed to look like a dragon's head, have a ``mouth'' which snaps shut if squeezed open and then released
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 snapdragon

n.

garden plant, 1570s, from snap (n.) + dragon. So called from fancied resemblance of antirrhinum flowers to a dragon's mouth. As the name of a Christmas game of plucking raisins from burning brandy and eating them alight, from 1704.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper