Old English fenol, finul, finol "fennel," perhaps via (or influenced by) Old French fenoil (13c.) or directly from Vulgar Latin *fenuculum, from Latin feniculum/faeniculum, diminutive of fenum/faenum "hay," probably literally "produce" (see fecund). Apparently so called from the hay-like appearance of its feathery green leaves and its sweet odor.
c. 1200, flour, also flur, flor, floer, floyer, flowre, "the blossom of a plant; a flowering plant," from Old French flor "flower, blossom; heyday, prime; fine flour; elite; innocence, virginity" (12c., Modern French fleur), from Latin florem (nominative flos) "flower" (source of Italian fiore, Spanish flor), from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom."
From late 14c. in English as "blossoming time," also, figuratively, "prime of life, height of one's glory or prosperity, state of anything that may be likened to the flowering state of a plant." As "the best, the most excellent; the best of its class or kind; embodiment of an ideal," early 13c. (of persons, mid-13c. of things); for example flour of milk "cream" (early 14c.); especially "wheat meal after bran and other coarse elements have been removed, the best part of wheat" (mid-13c.). Modern spelling and full differentiation from flour (n.) is from late 14c.
In the "blossom of a plant" sense it ousted its Old English cognate blostm (see blossom (n.)). Also used from Middle English as a symbol of transitoriness (early 14c.); "a beautiful woman" (c. 1300); "virginity" (early 14c.). Flower-box is from 1818. Flower-arrangement is from 1873. Flower child "gentle hippie" is from 1967.
c. 1200, "be vigorous, prosper, thrive," from flower (n.). Of a plant or bud, "to blossom," c. 1300. Meaning "adorn or cover with flowers" is from 1570s. Related: Flowered; flowering.
"rod or flat piece of wood for punishing children," 1590s, earlier "giant fennel" (early 15c.), from Middle English ferula "fennel plant" (late 14c.), from Latin ferula "reed, whip, rod, staff; fennel plant or stalk" (fennel stalks were used for administering flogging punishment in ancient Roman times) probably related to festuca "stalk, straw, rod."
"ornament in the form of a small flower," 1811, from French fleurette "small flower," diminutive of fleur "flower, blossom" (see flower (n.)). As a type of small sword from 1640s.
Japanese art of formal flower arrangement, 1901, from Japanese, from ikeru "to keep alive, arrange" + hana "flower."
c. 1400, flourette, "a little flower, a bud," from Old French florete "little flower," also the name of a cheap silk material, diminutive of flor "flower, blossom" (from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom"). Botany sense "small flower in a cluster" is from 1670s.
late 14c., blosmen, "come into flower," from Old English blostmian "put forth blossoms, to flower," from blostma "a blossom, a flower" (see blossom (n.)). Figurative use is from late 14c. Related: Blossomed; blossoming.