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[nap-weed] /ˈnæpˌwid/
any composite plant of the genus Centaurea, especially the weedy C. nigra, having rose-purple flowers set on a dark-colored, knoblike bract.
Also called hardheads, Spanish button.
Origin of knapweed
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English knopwed. See knop, weed1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for knapweed
Historical Examples
  • The seeds of brook-lime, flax, and knapweed the twite seems partial to, and this wild-weed field is to them a very paradise.

    Poachers and Poaching John Watson
  • The moth is out in July and in August, and may often be seen resting on the flowers of knapweed (Centaurea) in the daytime.

  • The knapweed was stunted and the scabious blooms drooped towards the dusty pasture.

    Sinister Street, vol. 1 Compton Mackenzie
British Dictionary definitions for knapweed


any of several plants of the genus Centaurea, having purplish thistle-like flowers: family Asteraceae (composites) See also centaury (sense 2), hardheads
Word Origin
C15 knopwed; see knop, weed1
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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