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A plant with sweet-smelling pink or white flowers and slender, typically grey-green leaves. The name may be short for pink eye, literally ‘small or half-shut eye’; compare with the synonymous French word oeillet, literally ‘little eye’.

In figurative usage, pink denotes the finest example of excellence, as in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, ‘I am the very pink of courtesy’; from this developed in the pink of condition to denote the best possible state of health and spirits.

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