a thistlelike composite plant, Carthamus tinctorius, native to the Old World, having finely toothed leaves and large, orange-red flower heads.
its dried florets, used medicinally or as a red dyestuff.

1575–85; < Dutch saffloer < Middle French safleur, alteration (assimilated to safran saffron and fleur flower) of Italian asfori < Arabic aṣfar yellow Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
safflower (ˈsæflaʊə)
1.  a thistle-like Eurasian annual plant, Carthamus tinctorius, having large heads of orange-yellow flowers and yielding a dye and an oil used in paints, medicines, etc: family Asteraceae (composites)
2.  a red dye used for cotton and for colouring foods and cosmetics, or a drug obtained from the florets of this plant
[C16: via Dutch saffloer or German safflor from Old French saffleur, from Early Italian saffiore, of uncertain origin. Influenced by saffron, flower]

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Example sentences
Feeding fish oil instead of safflower oil reduced the difference in activity between boron-deficient and boron-supplemented rats.
Try safflower seed in a mixture of sunflower seed to reduce squirrels coming to a feeder.
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