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See also: Mallow


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From Middle English malwe, from Old English mealwe, borrowed from Latin malva. Compare the doublet mauve.



mallow (plural mallows)

  1. Any of a group of flowering plants in several genera of the taxonomic family Malvaceae, especially of the genus Malva. Several species are edible by humans.
    • c. 1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, Scene 1,[1]
      Gonzalo. Had I plantation of this isle, my lord,—
      Antonio. He’ld sow’t with nettle-seed.
      Sebastian. Or docks, or mallows.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Job 30:3-4,[2]
      For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.
    • 1684, John Dryden, “From Horace, Epode 2” in The Second Part of Miscellany Poems, London: Jacob Tonson, 4th edition, p. 79,[3]
      Not Heathpout, or the rarer Bird,
      Which Phasis, or Ionia yields,
      More pleasing Morsels would afford
      Than the fat Olives of my Fields;
      Than Shards or Mallows for the Pot,
      That keep the loosen’d Body sound,
      Or than the Lamb that falls by Lot,
      To the just Guardian of my Ground.
    • 1840, Robert Browning, Sordello, Book IV, in Sordello; Strafford; Christmas-Eve and Easter-Day, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1863, p. 112,[4]
      The thoroughfares were overrun with weed
      — Docks, quitchgrass, loathly mallows no man plants.
    • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, Chapter 7,[5]
      The Time Traveller paused, put his hand into his pocket, and silently placed two withered flowers, not unlike very large white mallows, upon the little table. Then he resumed his narrative.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      'Twas early June, the new grass was flourishing everywheres, the posies in the yard—peonies and such—in full bloom, the sun was shining, and the water of the bay was blue, with light green streaks where the shoal showed.
    • 2017 October 19, “Hallohallo”, in Circuit Break, Konami:
      Hallo Hallo, brain of tallow,
      Guts are gone, noggin’s hollow.
      Seeking sweets and marshing mallows,
      Watch your back, and your candy sack.
  2. Larentia clavaria, an uncommon moth found across Eurasia.

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