any of numerous cultivated varieties of the clove pink, Dianthus caryophyllus, having long-stalked, fragrant, usually double flowers in a variety of colors: the state flower of Ohio.
pink; light red.
Obsolete. the color of flesh.
having the color carnation.

1525–35; < Late Latin carnātiōn- (stem of carnātiō) fleshlikeness, hence flesh-color, equivalent to Latin carn- (stem of carō) flesh + -ātiōn- -ation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
carnation (kɑːˈneɪʃən)
1.  Also called: clove pink a Eurasian caryophyllaceous plant, Dianthus caryophyllus, cultivated in many varieties for its white, pink, or red flowers, which have a fragrant scent of cloves
2.  the flower of this plant
3.  a.  a pink or reddish-pink colour
 b.  (as adjective): a carnation dress
4.  (often plural) a flesh tint in painting
[C16: from French: flesh colour, from Late Latin carnātiō fleshiness, from Latin carō flesh]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1538, either a corruption of coronation (q.v.) from the flower's being used in chaplets or from the toothed crown-like look of the petals; or for its pinkness from M.Fr. carnation "person's color or complexion," probably from It. carnagione "flesh color," from L.L. carnationem
(nom. carnatio) "fleshiness," from L. caro "flesh."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Keep carnation stems in water while you work, removing several at a time to add to the wreath.
She had a big funeral and she was laid out in her wedding dress in a white casket surrounded by every carnation in four counties.
Carnation, the pink is called, after the flower with no pretensions.
Carnation is expected to consume the old bakery, to convert into much-needed indoor seating.
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