There are 3 main definitions of rose in English:


Line breaks: rose
Pronunciation: /rəʊz


1A prickly bush or shrub that typically bears red, pink, yellow, or white fragrant flowers, native to north temperate regions and widely grown as an ornamental.
More example sentences
  • The MacDonalds have gone for a pleasing mix of old and modern, shrub and bedding roses in white, pink, purple and gold.
  • Unlike the stiff and fussy hybrid tea roses, these roses make excellent landscape shrubs.
  • In June it is literally covered with thousands of blush pink roses of amazing fragrance.
1.1The flower of a rose bush: he sent her a dozen red roses
More example sentences
  • Tess was sitting on a mat on the driveway, sketching the roses on the rose bush.
  • I was whisked away like a Hollywood star, holding bouquets of soft garden roses.
  • The infestation in your rose garden is probably thrips.
1.2Used in names of other plants whose flowers resemble roses, e.g. Christmas rose, rose of Sharon.
More example sentences
  • The rose of Sharon is a species of hibiscus, not a rose, but let that be.
2A stylized representation of a rose in heraldry or decoration, typically with five petals (especially as a national emblem of England): the Tudor rose
More example sentences
  • Symbols of love and sacrifice, roses became a floral emblem of the Virgin Mary.
  • Suddenly the flower takes on the strength to represent countries - the thistle for Scotland, the rose for England.
  • The rose is represented musically by high notes played on flutes and little silver bells.
3 [mass noun] A warm pink or light crimson colour: the rose and gold of dawn [as modifier]: the 100% cotton range is available in rose pink and ocean blue [in combination]: leaves with rose-red margins
More example sentences
  • Tiny ivory turnips blushed with rose pink are this season's pleasant surprise.
  • Other colours include midnight black, ocean blue, rose pink and olive green.
  • She smothered her creased skirts with her hands then pulled her matching, dusted rose pink gloves off and set them on a side table.
3.1 (usually roses) Used in reference to a rosy complexion: the fresh air will soon put the roses back in her cheeks
More example sentences
  • I'm warning you now, Rena, I have a hefty arsenal of things to say that'll put those roses in your cheeks.
4 (roses) Used to refer to favourable circumstances or ease of success: all is not roses in the firm today
More example sentences
  • The days of big cheque books and wine and roses and players who are up in that league are gone.
  • Despite winning accolades as Minister, his political career was not roses all the way.
5A perforated cap attached to a shower, the spout of a watering can, or the end of a hose to produce a spray.
More example sentences
  • Place the seeds on this and cover with soil to the depth of the seed, then water with a watering can rose.
6 short for compass rose.
More example sentences
  • Both have impressive white marble fireplaces as well as timber flooring, cornices, centre roses and shuttered sash windows.


[with object] literary Back to top  
Make rosy: a warm flush now rosed her hitherto blue cheeks
More example sentences
  • Picotee's face was rosed over with the brilliance of some excitement.


Old English rōse, of Germanic origin, from Latin rosa; reinforced in Middle English by Old French rose.


a bed of roses

see bed.

come up roses

(Of a situation) develop in a very favourable way: new boyfriend, successful career—everything was coming up roses
More example sentences
  • In contrast, Butcher would have you believe everything was coming up roses for his team, despite yesterday bringing only their third league victory in the course of their past 11 games.
  • Everything's coming up roses at this point in her life.
  • Perhaps if they were allowed to see things as they really are, they just might realise that away from their palaces and grand homes, things in the real world are not always coming up roses.

come up (or out) smelling of roses

Emerge from a difficult situation with one’s reputation intact: you came out of a tight spot smelling of roses
More example sentences
  • Somehow, he still comes up smelling of roses, and sought after.
  • By the end of the story, Howland has hardly changed at all, and he comes out smelling of roses.
  • It is anticipated that some of the hierarchy will not come out smelling of roses.

under the rose

archaic In secret; sub rosa.
More example sentences
  • Attendees understood that whatever was said under the rose - or sub rosa - had to remain a secret.
  • In ancient times a rose was attached to the ceiling of council chambers as an indication that everybody present was sworn to secrecy, sub rosa - under the rose.



More example sentences
  • We marvel at the awesome scenery, the great cathedrals and citadels that nature has carved out of the orange sandstone, the grasses of many subtle greens, the desert sunflowers and the delicate rose-like blooms of the prickly pear cactus.
  • The Kimjongilia is the national flower of North Korea, and most of the ones on display had a brilliant red colour to them, and looked a little rose-like, but without the prickly stems.
  • In the Rio Tinto Mines, calculations were performed on the cost of recovering rose-like copper in an oven.

Definition of rose in:

There are 3 main definitions of rose in English:


Line breaks: rosé
Pronunciation: /ˈrəʊzeɪ


[mass noun]
Any light pink wine, coloured by only brief contact with red grape skins: a glass of rosé [as modifier]: a local rosé wine
More example sentences
  • Her St Tropez chicken, typically, is named not for the provenance of its ingredients - rosé wine, honey and lavender - but in honour of its bronzed and crisped skin, the famous St Tropez tan.
  • Last year, partly due to a sweltering summer, we guzzled 25 per cent more rosé wines than the year before.
  • I tried some rosé wine and then had two glasses of champagne too.


French, literally 'pink'.

Definition of rose in: