Definition of primrose in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprimˌrōz/


1A commonly cultivated plant of European woodlands that produces pale yellow flowers in the early spring.
Example sentences
  • Around this time of year, there is a good show of daffodils, tulips, primroses, primula, helibores orientalis and other spring flowers.
  • Spring flowers - celandines, primroses, violets, wood anemones - were followed by pyramid and early purple orchids, wild thyme and rockrose.
  • The Cowslip Count took place in the spring of 2000 and we received data on over 2,000 places around the UK where cowslips, primroses and false oxlips are growing.
1.1 (also primrose yellow) A pale yellow color.
Example sentences
  • If you walk around the historic districts of Willemstad - Punda, Otrabanda, Scharloo and Pietermaai - you'll spot every hue from ochre or primrose yellow to baby blue and candyfloss pink.
  • ‘The colour is primrose yellow and national guidelines state that this or cream must be used for yellow lines in all conservation areas,’ a council spokeswoman reveals.
  • It produces large trumpet, ivory white flowers which open a lovely pale primrose yellow, fading gradually to pure white.


primrose path

The pursuit of pleasure, especially when it is seen to bring disastrous consequences: unaware of his doom, he continued down his primrose path
With allusion to Shakespeare's Hamlet i. iii. 50
More example sentences
  • The populace wanting a reprieve from ‘the necessities of their condition,’ he wrote, had been led down the primrose path by a mirage of well-being to which ideological conjurers had made them feel entitled.
  • In the one glass, alcohol can stimulate the mind or lend courage to the meek; in the other, it is a primrose path to perdition.
  • But pretending the budget doesn't matter is the primrose path to high taxes and poor services.


Late Middle English: compare with Old French primerose and medieval Latin prima rosa, literally 'first rose'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: prim·rose

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