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Noun, pl. gladioli

1. The center part of the sternum. (

2. The middle portion of the sternum in some animals; the mesosternum. (

3. The large central part of the breastbone. (

1. Any of several flowering plants, of the genus Gladiolus, having sword-shaped leaves and showy flowers on spikes; gladiola. (

2. A genus of plants having bulbous roots and gladiate leaves, and including many species, some of which are cultivated and valued for the beauty of their flowers; the corn flag; the sword lily. (

3. A genus of perennial bulbous flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae). It is sometimes called the ‘Sword lily’, but usually by its generic name (plural gladioli, gladioluses, glads). (

4. An Old World plant of the iris family, with sword-shaped leaves and spikes of brightly colored flowers, popular in gardens and as a cut flower. (Google Dictionary)

Word origin: From Latin gladiolus “wild iris,” literally “small sword,” diminutive of gladius “sword”; so called by Pliny in reference to the plant’s sword-shaped leaves. The Old English form of the word was gladdon. Form gladiol is attested mid-15c.; the modern use perhaps represents a 1560s reborrowing from Latin.

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