Blossom
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Blossom
See also: Blossom

English

Etymology

Apple blossoms

From Middle English blosme, from Old English bl?stm, bl?stma, from Proto-Germanic *bl?smaz (compare West Frisian blossem, bloesem), an enlargement of *bl?staz (compare German Blust), from Proto-Indo-European *b?leh?-s- ("bloom, flower"), from *b?leh?- ("to bloom, to thrive"). Cognate with Albanian bleron ("to blossom, to thrive"), Latin fl?s ("flower"), Fl?ra ("goddess of plants"). See more at blow (etymology 4).

Pronunciation

Noun

blossom (countable and uncountable, plural blossoms)

  1. A flower, especially one indicating that a fruit tree is fruiting; (collectively) a mass of such flowers.
    The blossom has come early this year.
    • 1560, [William Whittingham et al., transl.], The Bible and Holy Scriptures Conteyned in the Olde and Newe Testament. [...] (the Geneva Bible), Geneva: Printed by Rouland Hall, OCLC 557472409, Nombers XVII:8, folio 70, recto:
      And when Moses on the morowe went into the Tabernacle of the Testimonie, beholde, the rod of Aarón for the house of Leuí was budded, and broght forthe buddes, & broght forthe blossoms & bare ripe almondes.
    • 1711 March 16, Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, editors, The Spectator, volume I, number 16, London: Printed for S[amuel] Buckley, at the Dolphin in Little-Britain; and J[acob] Tonson, at Shakespear's-Head over-against Catherine-street in the Strand, OCLC 642176139, page 89:
      Foppish and fantastick Ornaments are only Indications of Vice, not criminal in themselves. Extinguish Vanity in the Mind, and you naturally retrench the little Superfluities of Garniture and Equipage. The Blossoms will fall of themselves, when the Root that nourishes them is destroyed.
    • 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter III, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, London: Printed for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744; republished as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus [...] In Two Volumes, volume I, new (2nd) edition, London: Printed for G. and W. B. Whittaker, Ave-Maria-Lane, 1823, OCLC 270812039, page 95:
      Winter, spring, and summer passed away during my labours; but I did not watch the blossom or the expanding leaves--sights which before always yielded me supreme delight--so deeply was I engrossed in my occupation.
  2. The state or season of producing such flowers.
    The orchard is in blossom.
    • 1919 October, John Galsworthy, chapter I, in Saint's Progress, London: William Heinemann, published December 1919, OCLC 731506428, part III, 1 §, page 217:
      Down by the River Wye, among plum-trees in blossom, Noel had laid her baby in a hammock, and stood reading a letter: [...]
  3. (figuratively) A blooming period or stage of development; something lovely that gives rich promise.
  4. The colour of a horse that has white hairs intermixed with sorrel and bay hairs.
    • 1834-1847, Robert Southey, "A Feeble Attempt to Describe the Physical and Moral Qualities of Nobs", in John Wood Warter, editor, The Doctor, &c., London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, OCLC 18206450; new edition, London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1862, OCLC 77702111, page 358, column 2:
      For colour he [Nobs, a horse] was neither black-bay, brown-bay, dapple-bay, black-grey, iron-grey, sad-grey, branded-grey, sandy-grey, dapple-grey, silver-grey, dun, mouse-dun, flea-backed, flea-bitten, rount, blossom, roan, pye-bald, rubican, sorrel, cow-coloured sorrel, bright sorrel, burnt sorrel, starling-colour, tyger-colour, wolf-colour, deer-colour, cream-colour, white, grey, or black. Neither was he green, like the horse which the Emperor [Septimus] Severus took from the Parthians, [...]

Alternative forms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

blossom (third-person singular simple present blossoms, present participle blossoming, simple past and past participle blossomed)

  1. (intransitive) To have, or open into, blossoms; to bloom.
    • 1560, [William Whittingham et al., transl.], The Bible and Holy Scriptures Conteyned in the Olde and Newe Testament. [...] (the Geneva Bible), Geneva: Printed by Rouland Hall, OCLC 557472409, Nombers XVII:1-2 and 5, folio 70, recto:
      And the Lord spake vnto Mosés, saying, / Speake vnto the childr? of Israél, & take of euerie one of them a rod, after ye house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the familie of their fathers, euen twelue rods: and thou shalt write euerie mans name vpon his rod. [...] And the mans rod, whome I chose, shall blossom: and I wil make cease from me the grudgings of the children of Israél, which grudge against you.
    • 1851 June 22, Henry D[avid] Thoreau, H. G. O. Blake, editor, Summer: From the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau, London: T. Fisher Unwin, 26 Paternoster Square E.C., published 1884, page 210:
      The Utricularia vulgaris or bladder-wort, a yellow pea-like flower, has blossomed in stagnant pools.
  2. (intransitive) To begin to thrive or flourish.
    • 1869, Louisa M[ay] Alcott, "Gossip", in Little Women: Or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, part second, Boston, Mass.: Roberts Brothers, OCLC 30743985, page 5:
      A quiet, studious man, rich in the wisdom that is better than learning, the charity which calls all mankind "brother," the piety that blossoms into character, making it august and lovely.
    • 1961 January 30, Rico Lebrun, "New Haven · Capri · Rome (1958-1960) [To David Lebrun from Los Angeles, January 30, 1961]", in James Renner and David Lebrun, editors, In the Meridian of the Heart: Selected Letters of Rico Lebrun, Boston, Mass.: David R. Godine, Publisher, ->ISBN, page 66:
      Since I came back from Pomona I have done many drawings to illustrate the Inferno of Dante [Alighieri] and I find my old Italian love blossoming all over again for this greatest of all master poets, bar none.

Synonyms

Translations

Further reading


Middle English

Noun

blossom

  1. Alternative form of blosme

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