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[pee-uh-nee] /ˈpi ə ni/
noun, plural peonies.
any of various plants or shrubs of the genus Paeonia, having large, showy flowers, as the widely cultivated species P. lactiflora: the state flower of Indiana.
Origin of peony
before 1000; Middle English < Late Latin peōnia, Latin paeōnia < Greek paiōnía peony, akin to Paiā́n paean; replacing Middle English pione < Anglo-French < Old French peone < Latin; replacing Old English peonie < Late Latin, Latin, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for peony


noun (pl) -nies
any of various ranunculaceous shrubs and plants of the genus Paeonia, of Eurasia and North America, having large pink, red, white, or yellow flowers
the flower of any of these plants
Word Origin
Old English peonie, from Latin paeōnia, from Greek paiōnia; related to paiōnios healing, from paiōn physician
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for peony

a 16c. merger of Middle English pyony (from Old English peonie) and Old North French pione (Modern French pivoine), both from Late Latin peonia, from Latin pæonia, from Greek paionia (fem. of paionios), perhaps from Paion, physician of the gods (or Apollo in this aspect), and so called for the plant's healing qualities. The root, flowers, and seeds formerly were used in medicine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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