In a word: florilegium

September 29, 2014|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your vocabulary. This week's word: 


Florilegium (pronounced flor-uh-LEE-jee-um) is one of those gather-ye-rosebuds words. From the Latin flos, floris, "flower," plus legere, "gather." It indicates a gathering or collection of brief extracts or writing. 

It is thus a fancy word for "anthology," though the emphasis is on short items rather than a bulky compendium. 

Example: Garry Wills, who thought Daniel Patrick Moynihan a poseur, says this in an article collected in Lead Time (2004): I have a florilegium of grammatical flaws pencilled on the back cover of each Moynihan book."

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