saffron

[saf-ruhn]
noun
1.
Also called vegetable gold. a crocus, Crocus sativus, having showy purple flowers.
2.
an orange-colored condiment consisting of its dried stigmas, used to color and flavor foods.
3.
Also, saffron yellow. yellow-orange.

Origin:
1150–1200; Middle English saffran, saffron Old French safran < Medieval Latin saffrānum < Arabic zaʿfarān

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
saffron (ˈsæfrən)
 
n
1.  an Old World crocus, Crocus sativus, having purple or white flowers with orange stigmas
2.  the dried stigmas of this plant, used to flavour or colour food
3.  meadow saffron another name for autumn crocus
4.  false saffron another name for safflower
5.  a.  an orange to orange-yellow colour
 b.  (as adjective): a saffron dress
 
[C13: from Old French safran, from Medieval Latin safranum, from Arabic za'farān]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

saffron
c.1200, from O.Fr. safran (12c.), from M.L. safranum (cf. It. zafferano, Sp. azafran), ultimately from Arabic za'faran, of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Saffron definition


Heb. karkom, Arab. zafran (i.e., "yellow"), mentioned only in Cant. 4:13, 14; the Crocus sativus. Many species of the crocus are found in Palestine. The pistils and stigmata, from the centre of its flowers, are pressed into "saffron cakes," common in the East. "We found," says Tristram, "saffron a very useful condiment in travelling cookery, a very small pinch of it giving not only a rich yellow colour but an agreable flavour to a dish of rice or to an insipid stew."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
It totally transformed the park into a wonderland of saffron color.
Add a few crushed nuts, raisins, and saffron thread.
In a place full of colors, this saffron yellow really stood out, even against
  the hay.
Horizon and distance are indistinguishable in the glowing saffron light.
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