• WordNet 3.6
    • n catchfly mostly perennial herbs with sticky stems that catch insects; widespread in north temperate zone
    • n catchfly any plant of the genus Silene
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Catchfly (Bot) A plant with the joints of the stem, and sometimes other parts, covered with a viscid secretion to which small insects adhere. The species of Silene are examples of the catchfly.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n catchfly The popular name of Species of plants belonging to the genus Silene, and of Lychnis Viscaria, given on account of their glutinous stems, which sometimes retain small insects. The sleepy catch-fly is Silene antirrhina.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Catchfly a popular name of several plants belonging to the genus Silene, and of Lychnis Viscaria, whose glutinous stems often retain insects settling on them
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From O. Fr. cachier—Late L. captiāre for captāre, inten. of capĕre, to take. See Chase.


In literature:

The CATCHFLY, Silene, the only one known here is the small red, S. rubella, having a very pretty pink flower appearing in the cold weather.
"Flowers and Flower-Gardens" by David Lester Richardson
The double form of the red German Catchfly.
"Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers" by John Wood
Among these are some kinds of sedges, chickweeds, and catchflies.
"Seed Dispersal" by William J. Beal
The Nottingham Catchfly (Silene nutans) is a very interesting case.
"The Beauties of Nature" by Sir John Lubbock
Royal catchfly Deep scarlet Western prairies.
"Harper's Young People, July 13, 1880" by Various
The third week in March is the time to sow sweet peas, poppies, catchflies, and all the hardy annual plants.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
A Catchfly which is not viscid, with the flowers collected into a tuft.
"Lachesis Lapponica" by Carl von Linné
We may hire a fresh horse there, perhaps, and let them bring home Catchfly to-morrow.
"A Rich Man's Relatives (Vol. 3 of 3)" by Robert Cleland