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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
References in periodicals archive ?
A: Your flowerless stems and nibbled flowers are most likely the result of caterpillar damage.
Mictlan, the fourth after-death land, was flowerless, shadowy, and chill, located in the north; there the dead who had not earned a place in one of the paradises underwent a series of trials leading to final peace and dissolution.
I could swear that l hear snickering, but when I look over at the flowerless fiend and its buddies they are silent and sinless, just trying to get by in this world like everybody else.
Lower down the social scale, in the middle class villas, the Victorian shrubbery was still an essential but on a less expensive scale, it was virtually flowerless with privet ever present.
Critics struggling to account for Faulkner's botanical choice have concluded that the author conflated two or more types of verbena--the flowering varieties and the powerfully scented but flowerless lemon verbena--either, as Winifred Frazer argues, to suit his ends,(2) or, according to Jane Isbell Haynes, simply in error.
MAKE sure you prune certain varieties, or you'll encourage a thicket of flowerless stems which pests and diseases love.
Graham White of Sutton Coldfield has a flowerless Wisteria much to the annoyance of the rest of the family.
Ill-fitting exterior doors to common areas and a sparse, flowerless lawn conveyed a continuous negative impression of the property.
hidden in their lives', and presents to the world a voice of sympathetic involvement in the plight of the two flowerless ones: '"I know something that you don't know," said her Buddha.
Even with growth restrictions placed on plants by our abnormally dry spring season, flowerless plants are bursting with growth capabilities.
Along a path where plants cascade over a raised bed, flowerless plants that won't attract bees grow to protect residents who might brush against the plants.