• WordNet 3.6
    • n cowslip swamp plant of Europe and North America having bright yellow flowers resembling buttercups
    • n cowslip early spring flower common in British isles having fragrant yellow or sometimes purple flowers
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cowslip A common flower in England (Primula veris) having yellow blossoms and appearing in early spring. It is often cultivated in the United States.
    • Cowslip In the United States, the marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), appearing in wet places in early spring and often used as a pot herb. It is nearer to a buttercup than to a true cowslip. See Illust. of Marsh marigold.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cowslip The popular name of several varieties of Primula veris, a favorite wild flower found in British pastures and hedge-banks, and cultivated in the United States. It has umbels of small, buff-yellow, scented flowers on short pedicels. Its flowers have been used as an anodyne.
    • n cowslip In the United States, the more common name of the marsh-marigold, Caltha palustris.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cowslip kow′slip a beautiful and fragrant species of primrose, common in English pastures
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. cūslyppe, cūsloppe, prob. orig., cow's droppings. Cf. Slop (n.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. , cow, slyppe, perh. cow-dung.


In literature:

I've just been aching to go hunting vi'lets and cowslips and 'nemones.
"Heart of Gold" by Ruth Alberta Brown
Cowslips would grow there, without doubt.
"A Pair of Clogs" by Amy Walton
But the cowslip is easily transplanted: the old oak will take no new rooting.
"Earl Hubert's Daughter" by Emily Sarah Holt
A vine with a blue flower, new to me, attracted my attention, also a yellow blossom of the cowslip variety.
"The Trail of the Goldseekers" by Hamlin Garland
Your flower is a cowslip, which grows in wet meadows, and is one of the earliest blossoms of spring.
"Harper's Young People, June 8, 1880" by Various
Purple Cowslips, and double Cowslips, and double double Cowslips.
"A New Orchard And Garden" by William Lawson
Cowslips and marigolds should be gathered dry, picked clean, dried in a cloth, and kept in paper bags.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
To every gallon of water you must take a gallon of cowslips.
"The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and New Dinner-Table Directory;" by Charlotte Campbell Bury
I must go seek some dewdrops here, And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
"Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17)" by Various
There are the 'pale cowslips,' too!
"John and Betty's History Visit" by Margaret Williamson

In poetry:

Later, when of cowslips we.
Each for each, made rosaries,
High upon the wind-swept down,
Had not Love then golden eyes?
"A Song Of Love's Eyes" by Ethel Clifford
I wave my arms across the walk.
The troops obey the sign,
And bring me shimmering shadow-robes
And cups of cowslip-wine.
"What The Scare-Crow Said" by Vachel Lindsay
But so it was at even-tide,
That some one came that road,
Pick'd the poor Cowslip from its stem,
And scatter'd it abroad.
"The Violet" by Caroline Fry
"Dear Mrs. Cowslip, you are kind;
My little folks, I know,
Will be so very pleased to come;
Dears–tell Mrs. Cowslip so.
"Mammas and Babies" by Kate Greenaway
And daisies strew the banks along,
And yellow kingcups shine,
With cowslips, and a primrose throng,
And humble celandine.
"After A Lecture On Wordsworth" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
And smelt the wall-flower in the crag
Whereon that dainty waft had fed,
Which made the bell-hung cowslip wag
Her delicate head;
"The Letter L" by Jean Ingelow