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[boo-guh n-vil-ee-uh, -vil-yuh, boh-] /ˌbu gənˈvɪl i ə, -ˈvɪl yə, ˌboʊ-/
any of several shrubs or vines of the genus Bougainvillea, native to South America, having small flowers with showy, variously colored bracts, and often cultivated in warm regions.
Origin of bougainvillea
1789; < New Latin, named after L. A. de Bougainville Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bougainvillea
  • The green spiny cactus contrasts with the exotic deep reds and oranges of the delicate bougainvillea.
  • bougainvillea poured down the hillside, and the hummingbirds were spinning.
  • Members chant privately, but meet regularly in each other's whitewashed apartment buildings and bougainvillea-shaded homes.
  • Grounds are heavy with bougainvillea and hibiscus, while the lakes host wild ducks and swans.
  • Upon entering a tropical patio, you'll find tiled tables surrounded by palm trees and bougainvillea.
  • Views extend out over the bougainvillea, palms, and citrus trees in the garden to the sea.
  • All rooms connect to either a shared or private garden lined with trellises overgrown with bougainvillea.
  • The damage is more severe in white and pink varieties of bougainvillea plants.
British Dictionary definitions for bougainvillea


any tropical woody nyctaginaceous widely cultivated climbing plant of the genus Bougainvillea, having inconspicuous flowers surrounded by showy red or purple bracts
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, named after Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811), French navigator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bougainvillea

type of woody vine, 1866, named for French navigator Louis Bougainville (1729-1811).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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