EnglishEdit

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Alternative formsEdit

 
Paeonia officinalis officinalis.

EtymologyEdit

From Old English peonie, peonia et al., from Latin paeōnia; later reinforced by Anglo-Norman peonie, Old French peone, from Latin paeōnia, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek παιωνία (paiōnía), from Ancient Greek Παιών (Paiṓn, Paean, the physician of the gods)/παιών (paiṓn, a physician).

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈpiːəni/
  • (file)

NounEdit

peony (plural peonies)

  1. A flowering plant of the genus Paeonia with large fragrant flowers. [from 10th c.]
    • 1653, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician Enlarged, Folio Society 2007, p. 219:
      The root of the Male Peony fresh gathered has been found by experience to cure the falling-sickness.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      'Twas early June, the new grass was flourishing everywheres, the posies in the yard—peonies and such—in full bloom, the sun was shining, and the water of the bay was blue, with light green streaks where the shoal showed.
  2. A dark red colour.
    • 1891, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, volume 1, London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., page 18:
      She was a fine and handsome girl - not handsomer than some others, possibly - but her mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and shape.

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