blossom

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Apple blossoms

From Middle English blosme, from Old English blōstm, blōstma, from Proto-Germanic *blōsmaz (compare West Frisian blossem, bloesem), an enlargement of *blōstaz (compare German Blust), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₃-s- (bloom, flower), from *bʰleh₃- (to bloom, to thrive). Cognate with Albanian bleron (to blossom, to thrive), Latin flōs (flower), Flōra (goddess of plants). See more at blow.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

blossom (plural blossoms)

  1. A flower, especially one indicating that a fruit tree is fruiting; (collectively) a mass of such flowers.
    The blossom has come early this year.
    • 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter III, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, London: Printed for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744; republished as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus [] In Two Volumes, volume I, new (2nd) edition, London: Printed for G. and W. B. Whittaker, Ave-Maria-Lane, 1823, OCLC 270812039, page 95:
      Winter, spring, and summer passed away during my labours; but I did not watch the blossom or the expanding leaves—sights which before always yielded me supreme delight—so deeply was I engrossed in my occupation.
  2. The state or season of producing such flowers.
    The orchard is in blossom.
  3. (figuratively) A blooming period or stage of development; something lovely that gives rich promise.
  4. The colour of a horse that has white hairs intermixed with sorrel and bay hairs.
    • 1834–1847, Robert Southey; John Wood Warter, editor, “A Feeble Attempt to Describe the Physical and Moral Qualities of Nobs”, in The Doctor, &c., London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, OCLC 18206450; new edition, London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1862, OCLC 77702111, page 358, column 2:
      For colour he [Nobs, a horse] was neither black-bay, brown-bay, dapple-bay, black-grey, iron-grey, sad-grey, branded-grey, sandy-grey, dapple-grey, silver-grey, dun, mouse-dun, flea-backed, flea-bitten, rount, blossom, roan, pye-bald, rubican, sorrel, cow-coloured sorrel, bright sorrel, burnt sorrel, starling-colour, tyger-colour, wolf-colour, deer-colour, cream-colour, white, grey, or black. Neither was he green, like the horse which the Emperor [Septimus] Severus took from the Parthians, []

Alternative forms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

blossom (third-person singular simple present blossoms, present participle blossoming, simple past and past participle blossomed)

  1. (intransitive) To have, or open into, blossoms; to bloom.
  2. (intransitive) To begin to thrive or flourish.

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