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[prim-rohz] /ˈprɪmˌroʊz/
any plant of the genus Primula, as P. vulgaris (English primrose) of Europe, having yellow flowers, or P. sinensis (Chinese primrose) of China, having flowers in a variety of colors.
Compare primrose family.
pale yellow.
of or relating to the primrose.
Also, primrosed. abounding in primroses:
a primrose garden.
of a pale yellow.
Origin of primrose
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English primerose < Medieval Latin prīma rosa first rose


[prim-rohz] /ˈprɪmˌroʊz/
Archibald Philip, 5th Earl of Rosebery, Rosebery, Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for primrose
Historical Examples
  • He was found pierced through with his own sword on primrose Hill.

    Thomas Otway Thomas Otway
  • You are walking in the woods, and you find the first primrose of the year.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • Now, look here, primrose and Daisy and I have been making up such a lovely plan.

    The Palace Beautiful L. T. Meade
  • Drivin' a depot carriage was just a side issue with that primrose blossom.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • The Hawk-Moth said something about having to go and thinking that the primrose honey was not so good as usual.

    Among the Night People Clara Dillingham Pierson
  • They could be simple, as the wild rose and the primrose are simple.

  • The primrose blossoms have a scent; not strong, but very sweet and pleasant.

    Wildflowers of the Farm Arthur Owens Cooke
  • It was primrose Hill, in fact, although Diamond had never heard of it.

  • In shape they are like a primrose, but the petals are pale pink and each has a tiny notch in the outer edge.

  • But Zinzendorf was not long allowed to tread the primrose path of peace.

British Dictionary definitions for primrose


any of various temperate primulaceous plants of the genus Primula, esp P. vulgaris of Europe, which has pale yellow flowers
short for evening primrose
Also called primrose yellow. a light to moderate yellow, sometimes with a greenish tinge
of, relating to, or abounding in primroses
of the colour primrose
pleasant or gay
Word Origin
C15: from Old French primerose, from Medieval Latin prīma rosa first rose
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 primrose

late 14c., prymrose, from Old French primerose, primerole (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin prima rosa, literally "first rose," so called because it blooms early in spring (see prime (adj.)). As the name of a pale yellow color, by 1844.

Parallel name primula (c.1100) is from Old French primerole, from Medieval Latin primula "primrose," shortened from primula veris "firstling of spring," thus properly fem. of Latin primulus, diminutive of primus; but primerole was used in Old French and Middle English of other flowers (cowslips, field daisies). The primrose path is from "Hamlet" I, iii.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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