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[hen-uh] /ˈhɛn ə/
an Asian shrub or small tree, Lawsonia inermis, of the loosestrife family, having elliptic leaves and fragrant flowers.
a reddish-orange dye or cosmetic made from the leaves of this plant.
a color midway between red-brown and orange-brown.
verb (used with object), hennaed, hennaing.
to tint or dye with henna.
Origin of henna
1590-1600; < Arabic hinnā' Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for henna
  • The more dramatic improvement in my hair was achieved with henna.
  • But the piecemeal efforts to revive ancient trades in frankincense, henna and hides do not begin to make up for livestock.
  • Another alternative way to go is henna-based tattoos, which typically do not contain any additives whatsoever.
  • Chamomile brightens blond hair, while henna darkens and colors hair.
  • The bride's hands and feet may be decorated with intricate henna designs.
  • Cotton candy, snow cones and henna tattoos were provided throughout the day.
  • Weir's medium is mehndi, an ancient art of temporary lacework tattoos done with herbal henna.
  • Even natural products, such as henna dye, can cause an allergic reaction.
British Dictionary definitions for henna


a lythraceous shrub or tree, Lawsonia inermis, of Asia and N Africa, with white or reddish fragrant flowers
a reddish dye obtained from the powdered leaves of this plant, used as a cosmetic and industrial dye
a reddish-brown or brown colour
(transitive) to dye with henna
Archaic name (for senses 1, 2) camphire
Word Origin
C16: from Arabic hinnā'; see alkanet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for henna

c.1600, "dye or cosmetic from the henna plant," from Arabic hinna, name for the small thorny tree (Egyptian Privet, Lawsonia inermis), the leaves of which are used to make the reddish dye; said to be of Persian origin. Related: Hennaed (1860).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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