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See also: pètal


Wild Rose with its typical five petals. Behind, on the right, a similar rose flower has shed its five petals, showing its five sepals persisting around the withered stamens


From Ancient Greek πέταλον (pétalon), from πέταλος (pétalos, broad, flat), from Proto-Hellenic *pétalos, from Proto-Indo-European *peth₂- (to spread out), whence Latin pandō and Proto-Germanic *faþmaz (embrace) (English fathom).



English Wikipedia has an article on:

petal (plural petals)

  1. (botany) One of the component parts of the corolla of a flower. It applies particularly, but not necessarily only, when the corolla consists of separate parts, that is when the petals are not connately fused. Petals are often brightly colored.
  2. Term of endearment.
    • 2011, Jo Baker, The Picture Book:
      She is freezing cold. Sputtering. Big eyes wide and wet and red. Too shocked even to cry. 'It's okay, petal, it's okay.'
  3. A lobe of a rose (geometric shape).

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petal (third-person singular simple present petals, present participle petaling, simple past and past participle petaled)

  1. To spread out from, like the petals of a flower
    • 1980, Thomas Alan Broughton, Winter Journey, page 133:
      anger against the men who had burdened her body with a lead shield of detestation for its blood, let loose without her will and its need against which she clenched her knees to her growing breasts, trying to clasp deep away from her hand that new soft wedge of hair, those lips that petaled out to her dreams.
    • 2014, Tory Cates, Different Dreams, page 169:
      With his forefinger, he curled one of the ringlets that petaled against Malou's forehead.
    • 2017, Dean Koontz, The Silent Corner, page 37:
      In the park adjacent to the library, following a winding path, she saw ahead a fountain surrounded by a reflecting pool, and she walked to it and sat on one of the benches facing the water that flowered up in numerous thin streams, petaling the air with silver droplets.