deflower (v.)

late 14c., deflouren, "deprive (a maiden) of her virginity," also "excerpt the best parts of (a book)," from Old French desflorer (13c., Modern French déflorer) "to deflower (a garden); to take the virginity of" and directly from Late Latin deflorare, from de- (see de-) + flos "flower" (from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom"). Sense of "despoil of beauty or grace" is from late 15c. The notion is "to strip of flowers," or of the quality or character of a flower, thus "to ravish."

The French Indians are said not to have deflowered any of our young women they captivated. [James Adair, "The Life of an Indian Trader," London, 1775]

Origin and meaning of deflower

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