flax

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English[edit]

A field of flax (Linum usitatissimum)
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Etymology[edit]

From Old English fleax, from Proto-Germanic *flahsą, from Proto-Indo-European *plek- (to plait). Cognate with Old Frisian flax, Old Saxon *flahs (Dutch vlas), Old High German flahs (German Flachs); the Northern Germanic (and most likely the Gothic too[1]) stem is different.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

flax (plural flaxes)

  1. A plant of the genus Linum, especially Linum usitatissimum, which has a single, slender stalk, about a foot and a half high, with blue flowers. Also known as linseed, especially when referring to the seeds.
  2. The fibers of Linum usitatissimum, grown to make linen and related textiles.
  3. The flax bush, a plant of the genus Phormium, native to New Zealand, with strap-like leaves up to 3 metres long that grow in clumps.

Usage notes[edit]

The plural flaxes is used to indicate multiple species or varieties of flax; otherwise, flax is uncountable.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Etymology in the Deutsches Wörterbuch of Jakob und Wilhelm Grimm: "however, Old Norse hör ... The Gothic word has not been transmitted, but one might guess harvs"

Swedish[edit]

Noun[edit]

flax c

  1. (slang) (unexpected) good luck

Declension[edit]