‘Flower’ vs ‘Flour’: What’s the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on August 28, 2023

If you need to know the difference between 'flower' vs. 'flour,' I can help.

Here is a quick answer: 

  • 'Flower' is a noun or verb that means a blossom or portion of an angiospermous plant that contains bright petals and reproductive structures used to develop seeds and fruit or to cause a plant to flower. 
  • 'Flour' is a noun or verb that means finely milled wheat or to cover something in flour. 

The answer above is just a brief overview. There is much more to learn about these terms. So, keep reading to learn the definitions, pronunciations, and how to use these terms.

What is the Difference Between 'Flower' vs. 'Flour?'

'Flower' and 'flour' are both nouns and verbs, but they have different spellings, definitions, and uses. However, they have the same pronunciation, so they are homophones.

  • 'Flower' refers to the colorful portion of a plant that contains reproductive structures like the stamens and pistils. The bright-colored petals attract birds and bees that help to pollinate the plants.

Parts of a 'flower' include the following:

  • Filament
  • Style
  • Sepal
  • Petals
  • Pistils
  • Anther
  • Stigma
  • Ovary
  • Pedicel
  • Perianth
  • Stamen

The second term, 'flour,' means:

  • Wheat that is finely milled and used in cooking or baking.
  • As a verb, it means to cover something in flour or to make something into finely ground particles.

When and How to Use 'Flower' vs. 'Flour'

You learned the difference between these terms, but do you know when and how to use these terms?

Here are some tips for using 'flower' vs. 'flour.'

  • Use 'flower' as a noun to refer to the blossom on a plant.

For example, you could say:

The beautiful flowers come in a variety of bright colors.

  • Use 'flower' to refer to cut stems from a plant that has flowers.

So, as an example, you could say:

You should buy your girlfriend a bouquet of flowers for Valentine's Day.

  • Use 'flower' as a verb to describe the development or flourishing of 'flowers.'

As an example, I might say:

The plants flower in late spring and last for a few months. 

  • Use 'flour' as a noun to refer to the finely milled grain used for cooking and baking.

For example, a recipe may instruct you to:

Coat the pan with butter and sprinkle a light coat of flour on the bottom and sides. 

  • Use 'flour' as a verb to refer to the process of covering something with 'flour.'

So, you could say:

Lightly flour the chicken and place pan sear it lightly on both sides. 

Definition of 'Flower': What Does 'Flower' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the meaning of the noun 'flower' is:

  • The specialized part of a plant that contains the reproductive structures and brightly colored petals.

It can also mean:

  • A plant grown for its flowers
  • Cut stems from a plant with the flowers attached
  • The best part of something
  • The peak period of something
  • A state of being in bloom
  • A scientific term for a fine powder produced by condensation and sublimation

As a verb, 'flower' means:

  • To decorate something with flowers
  • To cause flowers to blossom
  • To produce blossoms
  • Flourish or develop

Synonyms and Similar Words to 'Flower'

  • Bloom
  • Blossom
  • Bud
  • Floret
  • Bouquet
  • Wreath
  • Corsage
  • Flowerette
  • Spray
  • Boutonniere
  • Arrangement
  • Pinnacle
  • Summit
  • Peak
  • Apex
  • Climax

Definition of 'Flour': What Does 'Flour' Mean?

The same dictionary defines the noun 'flour' as:

  • A product made from finely milled wheat or grain

It can also mean:

  • A soft, fine powder substance

As a verb, it means:

  • To coat with flour or a flour-like substance
  • To break into fine particles

Synonyms and Similar Words to 'Flour'

'Flour' is a very specific term, so there aren't any synonyms or words you can use to replace the term.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Flower' vs. 'Flour'

Now that you know the difference between these words, let's look at the pronunciation of 'flower' vs. 'flour.'

Here is a pronunciation guide you can reference. 

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'flower':

flau-er

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'flour':

flau-er

As I mentioned earlier, 'flower' and 'flour' are homophones. They have different spellings but the same pronunciation.

Sample Sentences Using 'Flower' vs. 'Flour'

Before you go, take a look at these sample sentences using 'flower' vs. 'flour.' They will help you commit these terms to memory so you remember when to use each.

Flower

  • Your flowers will stay fresh longer if you replace the water in their vase every day or two.
  • Do you want to go with us to the flower arranging class?
  • We went to a farm where you can pick flowers and make a bouquet.
  • Texas is known for bluebonnets, flowers that grow on the side of the road.
  • We are going to take pictures in the field filled with flowers.
  • The Kudzu is an invasive, destructive vine that has beautiful purple flowers that have a floral grape scent.

Flour

  • Flour is a staple in most kitchens.
  • Cover the chicken in an egg and milk mixture before you flour it.
  • You need flour if you are making a cake or cookies for the bake sale.
  • You should coat the cookie sheet with butter and flour before you place the cookies on it.
  • You can find the flour in the baking aisle at the grocery store.
  • Mix the flours into each other and add water before you heat the ingredients.

Review of the Difference Between 'Flower' vs. 'Flour'

We covered a lot of information. So, let's do a quick recap of the difference between 'flower' vs. 'flour':

  • 'Flower' is a noun for the part of a plant that contains petals and reproductive structures or the best part of life or something else. 
  • 'Flower' is a verb that refers to the blossoming of a plant. 
  • 'Flour' is a noun for a finely milled wheat, grain, or other material. 
  • 'Flour' is a verb for making a finely ground powder or coating something in flour. 

If you get mixed up about these terms in the future, you can always return to this page to review this lesson. You can also learn about other commonly misused words in the confusing words section here.

Each post contains brief and detailed explanations, definitions, usage tips, and examples. So, they are an excellent way to improve your vocabulary and writing skills.

Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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