Share this entry

papilionaceous Syllabification: pa·pil·i·o·na·ceous
Pronunciation: /pəˌpilēəˈnāSHəs/

Definition of papilionaceous in English:


Of, 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.

Definition of papilionaceous in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day fortissimo
Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly