Definition of corncockle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɔːnkɒkl/


A pink-flowered Mediterranean plant introduced into Britain, where it became a cornfield weed. It has since been almost eradicated because its poisonous seeds contaminate flour.
  • Agrostemma githago, family Caryophyllaceae.
Example sentences
  • Other imports include the poisonous corncockle from the Mediterranean, the Himalayan balsam and the New Zealand willowherb, an aggressive weed.
  • An arable area at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens - part of the Go Wild festival - includes a crop with key colourful plants like common poppy, corn marigold and corncockle, plus some clover and a ‘game strip’ down one side.
  • In many ways this is rural France's most appealing region, an area of winding back roads, of lost-and-gone hamlets, of tree-smothered hills and of wheat fields bright with poppies and corncockles.


Early 18th century: from corn1 + cockle (from Old English coccul 'corncockle', perhaps via Latin from Greek kokkos 'berry').

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: corn|cockle

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