Definition of flax in English:


Syllabification: flax
Pronunciation: /flaks


  • 1A blue-flowered herbaceous plant that is cultivated for its seed (linseed) and for textile fiber made from its stalks.
    • Linum usitatissimum, family Linaceae
    More example sentences
    • Oats, millet, opium poppies, and flax were also being cultivated by the end of the Neolithic period.
    • Irish farmers came to rely on imported flax seed because the very best linen required the harvesting of flax before the seed could mature.
    • Many have abundant gardens, with brilliant red poppies, orange marigolds, blue flax, pink clematis and jacaranda, and large cypress and eucalyptus trees.
  • 1.1Textile fiber obtained from the flax plant: a mill for the preparation and spinning of flax
    More example sentences
    • Handmade utensils have been produced since the beginning of the nineteenth century; the primary textiles are wool and flax.
    • Linen is from flax, a bast fiber taken from the stalk of the plant.
    • Prior to that, cushions were stuffed with flax, cotton or other padded materials and the result was fairly deadening.
  • 1.2Used in names of other plants of the flax family (e.g., purging flax) or plants that yield similar fiber (e.g., false flax).
    More example sentences
    • Travelling with them were weeds of nuisance significance, selection favouring their life-cycles to fit those of the crops or to mimic them: false oat in cereals, and in flax, the false flax.


Old English flæx; related to Dutch vlas and German Flachs, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin plectere and Greek plekein 'to plait, twist'.

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