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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The peony gone, the year is over for me.
▪ The peony loosens and the sunflower turns.
▪ The day the peony falls I will be sunk already in the sorrow of a lost spring.
▪ Until the peony blooms I will be waiting.
▪ Wednesday afternoon, he'd just finished hanging hundreds of peony blooms to dry.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Peony \Pe"o*ny\, n.; pl. Peonies. [OE. pione, pioine, pioni, OF. pione, F. pivoine, L. paeonia, Gr. ?, fr. ?, ?, the god of healing. Cf. P[ae]an.] (Bot.) A plant, and its flower, of the ranunculaceous genus P[ae]onia. Of the four or five species, one is a shrub; the rest are perennial herbs with showy flowers, often double in cultivation. [Written also p[ae]ony, and piony.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

a 16c. merger of Middle English pyony (from Old English peonie) and Old North French pione (Modern French pivoine), both from Late Latin peonia, from Latin pæonia, from Greek paionia (fem. of paionios), perhaps from Paion, physician of the gods (or Apollo in this aspect), and so called for the plant's healing qualities. The root, flowers, and seeds formerly were used in medicine.


n. A flowering plant of the genus ''Paeonia'' with large fragrant flowers. (from 10th c.)


n. any of numerous plants widely cultivated for their showy single or double red or pink or white flowers [syn: paeony]


The peony is a flowering plant in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, Europe and Western North America. Scientists differ on the number of species that can be distinguished ranging from 25 to 40, although the current consensus is 33 known species. The relationships between the species also need to be further clarified.

Most are herbaceous perennial plants tall, but some are woody shrubs tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves and large, often fragrant flowers, in colors ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer.

Peonies are among the most popular garden plants in temperate regions. Herbaceous peonies are also sold as cut flower on a large scale, although generally only available in late spring and early summer.

Peony (novel)

Peony is a novel by Pearl S. Buck first published in 1948. It is a story of China's Kaifeng Jews.

Peony (disambiguation)

The peony is a flowering plant.

Peony may also refer to:

  • , the name of two Royal Navy ships

  • , a Union Navy steamer acquired near the end of the American Civil War

  • Peony (novel), by Pearl S. Buck
  • Peony, one of nine chimpanzees used in a language experiment detailed in the book, The Mind of an Ape
  • Peony Star (a name for WR 102ka from the Peony Nebula in which it is embedded), one of several candidates for the most luminous known star in the Milky Way
    • Peony Nebula, whose name comes from its appearance

Usage examples of "peony".

Leaving trim lawns, a forest of box-trees, budding roses and peonies, well-grown early brocoli and York cabbages behind, we drove through a country of eternal little fields and grey stone walls.

Zelie Cadelle, redder than a peony, was trying to induce him to let her pass, treating him at the same time to some of the choicest epithets of her well-stocked repertory.

FOLLOWING MORNING, before she left the bartizan, Dorcas cut her hair until she almost seemed a boy, and thrust a white peony through the circulet that confined it.

The greenhouses of the lower town had been thoroughly searched, but the only inodorous flowers that had been found were the peonies--great white peonies, enormous tufts of which adorned the table, like a shimmering of white lace.

Kama asked, as much to keep Peony talking about Lache as to distract herself from her job.

He sat in his room, and earnestly kept from telephoning to Peony at Lambda House.

Johnson of Minneapolis, and agreed with him against all the organizators and all the ethical raptures of his transmogrified Peony.

Gentle nighttime showers irrigated the potato fields of Moose County and freshened the peony gardens of Pickax City, the county seat.

Tournament of Roses in California, the Tournament of Peonies in Pickax will be no great loss.

The backyard, as concise as the house, is enclosed by a scrim of privet hedge and monopolized by flowerbeds: peonies in late, tempestuous bloom, trellised veils of clematis and rugosa roses, gladiolas hinting at the colors sheathed in their spearlike buds.

The casting and direction of the college play, to which he had looked forward as an orgy of unacademic art and a much better ground than classrooms for getting thick with the pretty girls, proved, entirely on account of Peony, to be an embarrassing game of hide and seek.

One of the flower arrangements from lunch sits on the bedside table: white peonies, the metaphorical antonym of my psyche at this moment.

The roses were still in bloom, and the peonies, destined to serve as prototypes for countless penwipers, were still just coming out.

This Christmas, Peony masterfully carried him up to her family, to Whipple Jackson, vestryman and wholesale grocer, in Faribault.

Not just flowers, but a dozen Daurian peonies, a variety so rare it took Mary a full minute to identify it.