Wallflower

August 18, 2022

Wallflower/noun /wall·flow·er

We use the word wallflower as both a formal and informal noun in English. The formal sense of wallflower refers to flowering plants that grow in out-of-the-way places, including on the walls of buildings and in other rocky areas native to Southern Europe.

Wallflower, in its informal sense, denotes the outward characteristics of shy people and introverts who keep to themselves by holding on to walls at parties and not socializing with other party guests. We often use wallflower to depict people with antisocial behaviors.

In a Sentence

He sensed she was a wallflower by the way she averted her eyes and stood on the back wall, away from everyone else at the party.

Wallflowers are native plants to Southern Europe and grow in out-of-the-way places.

In social settings, we often label shy, introverted, and antisocial people as wallflowers.

Etymology

We first started using the word wallflower in the late 16th century to represent flowering plants that grow in Southern Europe. In the 18th century, the meaning of the word changed. We started using the word in a more informal way to represent characteristics of shy or antisocial people at social gatherings.

Synonym

Introvert, Shrinking Violet

Antonym

Extrovert, Outgoing

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