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[snap-drag-uh n] /ˈsnæpˌdræg ən/
any plant belonging to the genus Antirrhinum, of the figwort family, especially A. majus, cultivated for its spikes of showy flowers, each having a corolla supposed to resemble the mouth of a dragon.
Origin of snapdragon
1565-75; snap + dragon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for snapdragon
Historical Examples
  • There were no pleasant games of snapdragon, or touch, nor even a gossip over the tea table for the young-lady foxes.

    Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales Hans Christian Andersen
  • The snapdragon is especially adapted for fertilisation by Humble Bees.

    The Beauties of Nature Sir John Lubbock
  • snapdragon, wallflower, pansies, and hollyhocks are very easily grown from seed.

  • More in the abstract, they were snatching at a snapdragon bowl.

  • Like the old-fashioned folk they were, they had a snapdragon and plenty of mistletoe and plenty of the usual jokes about both.

    Mrs. Maxon Protests Anthony Hope
  • As for the delicious lurid function, snapdragon, is it obsolete in England yet?

    The Retrospect Ada Cambridge
  • Barbara and Alice had planted asters and snapdragon because mother liked them for the house.

    Keineth Jane D. Abbott
  • In irregular flowers, like the snapdragon and foxglove, the decoration is irregular.

  • If you have a large glass fish-globe fill it with fresh water, and put in the snapdragon and wild carrot in a loose bouquet.

  • The snapdragon (perhaps you call it butter-and-eggs) does not mind at all where it grows.

British Dictionary definitions for snapdragon


any of several scrophulariaceous chiefly Old World plants of the genus Antirrhinum, esp A. majus, of the Mediterranean region, having spikes of showy white, yellow, pink, red, or purplish flowers Also called antirrhinum
Word Origin
C16: so named because the flowers, which are claimed to look like a dragon's head, have a ``mouth'' which snaps shut if squeezed open and then released
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 snapdragon

garden plant, 1570s, from snap (n.) + dragon. So called from fancied resemblance of antirrhinum flowers to a dragon's mouth. As the name of a Christmas game of plucking raisins from burning brandy and eating them alight, from 1704.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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