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1. The best example or greatest representative of a group. Margaret was long considered the flower of her graduating class.
2. The best state or prime condition of something. It was in the flower of my youth that I knew I wanted to be a great writer.
3. slang The vagina, especially the labia majora and the labia minora.
4. slang An effeminate, weak, ineffectual, or cowardly man or boy. Don't be such a flower, Jimmy, stand up for yourself and fight him!
5. A term of endearment, often toward a girl or woman. Primarily heard in UK, Ireland. Ah, my little flower! Come here and give your auntie a kiss! Here you are, me auld flower, two tickets to the show, as promised!

flower of the flock

The best person or thing in a group. Your cupcakes are just the flower of the flock—there is no better item at the bake sale. She's the best we've got, the flower of the flock, so you should absolutely put her on this case.
See also: flock, flower, of

April showers bring May flowers

Poor, often rainy weather in April can prove beneficial to blooming plantlife in May. A: "Ugh, will it ever stop raining?" B: "April showers bring may flowers, at least."
See also: bring, flower, may, shower

the flower of (something)

The finest, most vital, or most exemplary part of something. Though many worry the legislation will hamper trade with foreign countries, I'm hopeful that it will help nurture and cultivate the flower of local industries. The community has been struggling to come to terms with the death of the three boys, all struck down in the flower of youth.
See also: flower, of

hearts and flowers

A phrase used to describe excessive sentimentality. Ugh, but the dialogue in those books is all hearts and flowers though.
See also: and, flower, heart

April showers bring May flowers.

Prov. Although rain in April is annoying, it starts the flowers growing. Child: I hate all this rain. Why does it have to rain? Mother: April showers bring May flowers. Although it was a dreary, rainy day, we felt cheerful, since April showers bring May flowers.
See also: bring, flower, may, shower

the flower of —

the finest individuals out of a number of people or things.
Middle and early modern English did not recognize the modern distinction in spelling and sense between flower and flour , and the earliest instances of this expression relate to the sense that in modern English would be spelt flour , referring to the finest part of the wheat.
1991 Pat Robertson New World Order This vainglorious conqueror wasted the flower of French youth on his own personal dreams of empire.
See also: flower, of

hearts and flowers

used in allusion to extreme sentimentality.
See also: and, flower, heart

the flower of something

(literary) the finest or best part of something: The people of the village will never forget the war and their young men, killed in the flower of youth.
See also: flower, of, something

hearts and flowers

n. sentimentality. I didn’t care for the hearts and flowers part.
See also: and, flower, heart

April showers bring May flowers

Adversity is followed by good fortune. An old proverb, it was taken more literally in days gone by, and in fact it appeared in a British book of Weather Lore published in 1893.
See also: bring, flower, may, shower

flower children

Hippies of the 1960s, so named because they frequently wore or carried flowers as symbols of love and peace. Their antimaterialistic, antiwar philosophy was characterized as flower power, whose motto was “Make love, not war.” Overused for several decades, these terms now may be dying out.
See also: children, flower

flower of youth, the

The best or finest time of life, at the peak of good looks, good health, and vigor. “He hath the flower of youth, wherein is the fulness of strength,” wrote Homer in the Iliad (ca. 850 b.c.). Shakespeare used similar language, but not the precise wording of the cliché. But John Dryden did, in Alexander’s Feast (1697), describing the lovely Thais “in flow’r of youth and beauty’s pride.”
See also: flower, of
References in periodicals archive ?
This new introduction is a prolific flowerer but grows to a height of 3m (10ft) so will not be as invasive as the older types of Clematis Montana.
If your osteospermums, pansies and other early flowerers are looking rather bedraggled, cut them back and feed with a good all round fertiliser and they should recover and bloom again.
This countryAAEs climate doesnAAEt favour bulbs that produce such extravagant, seductive flowers; the furnace-tolerant native flowerers are typically understated.
Another great benefit of many winter flowerers is that they have wonderfully scented flowers.
Lettuce, spinach, and the like are long-day - early summer - flowerers.
And there are the early flowerers starting in late March and early April, mid-season varieties and then the late flowering tulips that keep going right through May.
Clearing out early flowerers like 'Flanders Poppies', but collecting the seeds for next year, gave me some space for seedlings I have been growing on.
Asters or Michaelmas Daisies are classic autumn flowerers and can range in height from 12in to 60in.
And continue to support tall flowerers such as delphiniums.
Some are poor flowerers, others extremely generous with their blooms.
During the late winter and early spring when flowers are scarce the many different rosemarys are covered with bees busy searching out the nectar in these generally first flowerers.
Not only are they attractive, profuse long flowerers, they thrive in most soil conditions and are even shade and drought tolerant.
The late flowerers need an acid soil but those flowering earlier are not so fussy.
This tree is pollinated by a Golden Delicious tree that is an excellent pollinator in the mid-season group of flowerers but it only produces small apples that are loved the birds but are almost inedible to us.