noun (plural narcissi /-sʌɪ/ or narcissuses)
- Genus Narcissus, family Liliaceae (or Amaryllidaceae): many species and varieties, in particular N. poeticus
- Garden centres are supplied with spring flowering bulbs of daffodils, hyacinths, narcissus, tulips and crocus, but let's not stop there.
- The tulip is followed in popularity by the daffodil and other narcissi, the gladiolus, the lily and the crocus.
- It is the season to plant flowering bulbs such as tulips, narcissi, crocuses and hyacinths.
The flower narcissus, a kind of daffodil, takes its name from a handsome youth in Greek mythology. Narcissus fell so deeply in love with his own reflection in a pool that he pined away and died, but the narcissus flower sprang up at the spot. Narcissism, ‘excessive admiration of your own physical appearance’, comes from the infatuation of Narcissus with his own beauty, and seems to have been invented by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1822. As a technical term in psychology it is particularly associated with the theories of the psychotherapist Sigmund Freud. The source of narcissus is not known, and it is probable that the Greeks borrowed it from an earlier language, but in the past it was associated with Greek narkoun ‘to make numb’ source of narcotic (Late Middle English). See also echo
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