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[suhn-flou-er] /ˈsʌnˌflaʊ ər/
any of various composite plants of the genus Helianthus, as H. annuus, having showy, yellow-rayed flower heads often 12 inches (30 cm) wide, and edible seeds that yield an oil with a wide variety of uses: the state flower of Kansas.
Also called aster. Furniture. a conventionalized flower motif carved in the center panels of a Connecticut chest.
Origin of sunflower
1555-65; translation of Latin flōs sōlis flower of the sun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sunflower
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And why shouldn't she go to the window to see how the sunflower was getting on!

    It Never Can Happen Again William De Morgan
  • I can call myself a sunflower, or Black-eyed Susan, or some other yellow thing.

    The Green Satin Gown Laura E. Richards
  • In his buttonhole he stuck a sunflower to show how happy he was.

    The City Curious Jean de Bosschre
  • Did you ever think that the sunflower was once a lovely girl?

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • sunflower yields 140 bushels per acre, and each bushel one gallon of good oil.

British Dictionary definitions for sunflower


any of several American plants of the genus Helianthus, esp H. annuus, having very tall thick stems, large flower heads with yellow rays, and seeds used as food, esp for poultry: family Asteraceae (composites) See also Jerusalem artichoke
sunflower seed oil, the oil extracted from sunflower seeds, used as a salad oil, in the manufacture of margarine, etc
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 sunflower

1560s, "heliotrope;" in reference to the helianthus (introduced to Europe 1510 from America by the Spaniards) it is attested from 1590s. From sun (n.) + flower (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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