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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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Walking through the school gates and past the flowerless beds whose use seemed only to be as an over-spill facility for Brent's vast litter problem, Ashley could only marvel at his uncle's optimism.
Today's early morning appearance of the flowerless, foam covered mesh and wire colossal creations were part of Fiesta Parade Floats annual "Parade before the Parade," and presented many early morning risers with an opportunity to get up-close and personal with some of the largest floats designed by Fiesta Parade Floats for the 2005 Rose Parade.
The second section of the book is devoted to a topic that doesn't get attention in most gardening books: how plants look when they're flowerless and how they shape a landscape.
The claim of 25,000 visitors (Evening Telegraph, June 12) to the Priory Visitor Centre and sterile flowerless Priory Garden is ridiculous, there is never anyone there.
Remove flowerless shoots that are four to six inches long and, after rubbing off their bottom leaves, insert them into a mix that is half sand and half peat moss.
What makes this group of stemless, flowerless plants so popular are the exquisite colors and patterns of their leaves, which bob gracefully in the gentlest breeze.
I wonder if Chris Beck (Coventry's Phoenix Initiative director) would accept a challenge to travel from his office in Priory Row to any of the clinics in Hillfields by wheelchair, passing all the broken pavements, the hard-hit businesses and the pounds 800,000 concrete flowerless garden, with its cold concrete benches no one sits on, and the lack of dropped kerbs all the way.
If the city council got its priorities right there could be an area of park with ramps and half pipes in every ward in the city for less that the pounds 800,000 it cost for the useless, flowerless Garden of International Friendship.
The ``Petal Pushers'' will caravan to the Rose Palace in Pasadena to put final floral touches on the flowerless frames December 28.
Why would a book about roses be recommended during the gray, wet, relatively flowerless month of January?
Perhaps because it blooms at a time when most perennials are flowerless, or perhaps because it blooms in the shade, where flowery expectations at this time of year are virtually nil, the Japanese anemone is not well-known, not requested at nurseries and therefore grown sparingly in Southern California.