Part of speech: noun
Origin: Middle English, 15th century
A small bunch of flowers, typically one that is sweet-scented.
A gift of a small bouquet of flowers.
Examples of Nosegay in a sentence
"Her daughter picked a nosegay that was mostly weeds, but she still loved it."
"Each of the bridesmaids received a small nosegay wrapped in lace."
Popularity Over Time
Nosegay is a uniquely English term. Nose is, well, nose, and gay meant ornament in the 15th century. You could technically call the sparkly stud in your nostril a nosegay, but we'll stick to a small bouquet of flowers. Stay traditional and wrap it in a doily or even a silver nosegay holder.
Did you Know?
While today a nosegay is a small bunch of flowers often used at weddings, it used to be a common and useful accessory. In the 15th century hygiene wasn't up to our modern standards, and people were quite a bit smellier. A sweetly scented nosegay held to the face helped to avoid the most noxious aromas.