Definition of papilionaceous in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pəˌpilēəˈnāSHəs/


Relating to or denoting leguminous plants of a group (subfamily Papilionoideae or family Papilionaceae) with flowers that resemble a butterfly.
Example sentences
  • The flowers have a typical papilionaceous corolla.
  • Flowers of normal plants are typically papilionaceous with a large standard petal, two free-wing petals, and two fused-keel petals.
  • The corolla of Trigonellinae is typically papilionaceous, comprising a standard petal, two wing petals and a keel made up of two marginally fused petals.


Mid 17th century: from modern Latin Papilionaceae (plural), based on Latin papilio 'butterfly', + -ous.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pa·pil·i·o·na·ceous

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.