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cowslip, Primula veris

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English cowslyppe, from Old English cūslyppe (cowslip), from (cow) + slyppe (paste, viscid substance), related to Old English slūpan (to slip, glide, move softly). Compare oxlip.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkaʊ.slɪp/
  • Hyphenation: cow‧slip


cowslip (plural cowslips)

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  1. A low-growing plant, Primula veris, with yellow flowers.
    • 1610, Shakespeare, The Tempest, act 5 scene 1
      Where the bee sucks, there suck I: / In a cowslip's bell I lie;
  2. Any of several other plants related or similar in appearance
    1. Primula deorum, a flowering plant known as God's cowslip and rila cowslip
    2. Primula florindae, a flowering plant known as giant cowslip and Tibetan cowslip
    3. Primula sikkimensis, a flowering plant known as Himalayan cowslip and Sikkim cowslip
    4. (Canada, US, regional) marsh marigold, Caltha palustris, a plant in the buttercup family, growing in wet, boggy locations.
    5. Pulmonaria angustifolia, blue cowslip or narrow-leaved lungwort