Skip to main content
Select Source:

primrose

primrose in early figurative use, this yellow springtime flower is taken as the type of the first and best.

The name is recorded from late Middle English, and means literally ‘first rose’.
Primrose Day the anniversary of the death of Benjamin Disraeli (19 April 1881), whose favourite flower was reputedly the primrose.
Primrose League a political association, formed in memory of Benjamin Disraeli in 1883, to promote and sustain the principles of Conservatism as represented by him.
primrose path the pursuit of pleasure, especially when it is seen to bring disastrous consequences. The original allusion is to the reference in Shakespeare's Hamlet to ‘the primrose path of dalliance’.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"primrose." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"primrose." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primrose

"primrose." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primrose

primrose

primrose, common name for the genus Primula of the Primulaceae, a family of low perennial herbs with species found on all continents, most frequently in north temperate regions. Among the better-known members of the family are the primroses (genus Primula), cyclamens (genus Cyclamen), pimpernels (genus Anagallis), and loosestrifes (chiefly genus Lysimachia). Species of all these genera are cultivated as rock-garden, border, and pot plants. The primrose, a common and favored wildflower of England, has often been celebrated in poetry. A common yellow species (P. veris) is called cowslip in England. Several primroses are indigenous to North America. The American cowslip, often called shooting star, is a separate genus (Dodocatheon); it is an Eastern wildflower. The evening primrose is not a true primrose. Tuberous-rooted cyclamens are native chiefly to the European Alps; C. indicum is a common florists' pot plant in the United States. The scarlet pimpernel, or poorman's-weatherglass (A. arvensis), is native to Eurasia but has been naturalized in North America; its flowers close on the approach of bad weather. Loosestrifes are easily cultivated flowers that thrive under moist conditions; some are creeping species, e.g., the moneywort, or creeping Jenny, of E North America. Several unrelated plants are also called loosestrife. Primroses are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Primulales.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"primrose." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"primrose." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/primrose

"primrose." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/primrose

Primrose, William

William Primrose, 1904–82, Scottish-American violist. After studying in London, and with Eugène Ysaÿe, he played with the London String Quartet (1930–35) and the NBC Symphony Orchestra (1937–42). In 1939 he formed his own quartet. As a soloist he ranked among the world's outstanding violists and greatly contributed to establishing the viola as a concert instrument. Several concertos were written for him.

See his Walk on the North Side (1978); D. Dalton, Playing the Viola: Conversations with William Primrose (1988).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Primrose, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Primrose, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/primrose-william

"Primrose, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/primrose-william

primrose

prim·rose / ˈprimˌrōz/ • n. a cultivated plant (Primula vulgaris) of European woodlands that produces pale yellow flowers in the early spring. The primrose family (Primulaceae) also includes the cowslips, pimpernels, and cyclamens. ∎  (also primrose yellow) a pale yellow color. PHRASES: primrose path the pursuit of pleasure, esp. when it is seen to bring disastrous consequences.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"primrose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"primrose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primrose-1

"primrose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primrose-1

primrose

primrose Any of numerous species of herbaceous, generally perennial plants of the genus Primula, which grow in the cooler climates of Europe, Asia, Ethiopia, Java, and North America. It has a tuft of leaves rising from the rootstock and clustered flowers of pale yellow to deep crimson. In Britain, the name refers to Primula vulgaris. Family Primulaceae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"primrose." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"primrose." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/primrose

"primrose." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/primrose

cowslip

cow·slip / ˈkouˌslip/ • n. 1. a European primula (Primula veris) with clusters of drooping fragrant yellow flowers in spring. 2. any of a number of herbaceous plants, in particular the marsh marigold and the Virginia bluebell.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cowslip." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cowslip." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cowslip-0

"cowslip." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cowslip-0

primrose

primrose XV. ME. primerose, corr. to OF. primerose (now, hollyhock), medL. prima rosa ‘first’ or ‘earliest rose’; the reason for the name is unkn.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"primrose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"primrose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primrose-2

"primrose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primrose-2

cowslip

cowslip Herb of the primrose family (Primulaceae), with a hanging yellow flower head; species Primula veris. In the USA cowslip is a marsh marigold (Caltha palustris).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cowslip." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cowslip." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cowslip

"cowslip." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cowslip

cowslip

cowslip OE. cūslyppe, f. COW 1 + slyppe viscous or slimy substance, i.e. ‘cow-slobber’ or ‘cow-dung’.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cowslip." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cowslip." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cowslip-1

"cowslip." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cowslip-1

cowslip

cowslip, name for plants of the borage, marsh marigold, and primrose families.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cowslip." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cowslip." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cowslip

"cowslip." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cowslip

cowslip

cowslipblip, chip, clip, dip, drip, equip, flip, grip, gyp, harelip, hip, kip, lip, nip, outstrip, pip, quip, rip, scrip, ship, sip, skip, slip, snip, strip, tip, toodle-pip, trip, whip, yip, zip •biochip • microchip • woodchip •sheepdip • skinny-dip • rosehip •landslip • payslip •fillip, Philip •gymslip • side-slip • polyp • oxlip •cowslip • pillowslip •julep, tulip •Cudlipp • paperclip • catnip • parsnip •turnip • handgrip • cantrip • hairgrip •airstrip • filmstrip • kirby grip •weatherstrip • gossip • airship •midship • kinship • godship • warship •gunship • worship • wingtip •fingertip • horsewhip • bullwhip •bunyip

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cowslip." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cowslip." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cowslip

"cowslip." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cowslip

primrose

primroseappose, arose, Bose, brose, chose, close, compose, diagnose, doze, enclose, expose, foreclose, froze, hose, impose, interpose, juxtapose, Montrose, noes, nose, oppose, plainclothes, pose, propose, prose, rose, suppose, those, transpose, underexpose, uprose •Berlioz • flambeaux • thrombose •bandeaux • bulldoze • fricandeaux •metamorphose • pantyhose • glucose •gallows, Hallowes •tableaux • parclose • Fellows •bedclothes • nightclothes • rouleaux •underclothes • misdiagnose •Ambrose • dextrose • Faeroes •primrose • cornrows • sucrose •Burroughs • tuberose •bateaux, gateaux, plateaux •portmanteaux • fructose

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"primrose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"primrose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primrose-0

"primrose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/primrose-0