Definition of knapweed in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnapwiːd/


[mass noun]
A tough-stemmed Eurasian plant that typically has purple thistle-like flower heads, occurring chiefly in grassland and on roadsides.
  • Genus Centaurea, family Compositae: several species, including the widespread common (or lesser) knapweed (C. nigra) (also called hardheads).
Example sentences
  • The oil from the seeds of cotton thistles was extracted for fuel and knapweed, centaurea scabiosa, was believed to promote healing of bruises and wounds.
  • Currently, most producers apply chemicals on rangeland in spring or summer, when knapweed begins to flower, but research is showing that fall application may be preferable.
  • Spotted knapweed is not killed by fire, but sagebrush is.


Late Middle English (originally as knopweed): from knop (because of its hard rounded involucre or ‘head’) + weed.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: knap|weed

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