a type of small white flower that appears in early spring
Origin and usage
The word snowdrop entered English in the mid 17th century. Formed from the words ‘snow’ and ‘drop’, meaning a small round object, it resembles similar words in other languages such as German, Swedish and Dutch.
The first flowers to appear at the end of winter, sometimes when snow is still upon the ground, snowdrops come from bulbs like many other early flowers. If happy in their situation they can spread over the years to form huge sheets of white. While spectacular en masse, being so small and delicate snowdrops reward close attention. Some people become so fascinated by their slight differences in shape and colouration that they spend considerable time and money collecting the many different varieties. Snowdrop enthusiasts are known as galanthophiles, from the plant’s Latin name ‘Galanthus nivalis’.
“The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn, And violets bathe in the wet o’ the morn.”
crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, narcissus
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.
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