genus of leguminous shrubs, 1731, coined in Modern Latin (1619) from Latin mimus "mime" (see mime (n.)) + -osa, adjectival suffix (fem. of -osus). So called because some species (including the common Sensitive Plant) fold leaves when touched, seeming to mimic animal behavior. As the name of a yellow color like that of the mimosa flower, by 1909. The alcoholic drink (by 1977) is so called from its yellowish color.
updated on January 20, 2019