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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

sorrel1

[sawr-uh l, sor-] /ˈsɔr əl, ˈsɒr-/
noun
1.
light reddish-brown.
2.
a horse of this color, often with a light-colored mane and tail.
adjective
3.
of the color sorrel.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Old French sorel, equivalent to sor brown (< Germanic) + -el diminutive suffix; see -elle

sorrel2

[sawr-uh l, sor-] /ˈsɔr əl, ˈsɒr-/
noun
1.
any of various plants belonging to the genus Rumex, of the buckwheat family, having edible acid leaves used in salads, sauces, etc.
2.
any of various sour-juiced plants of the genus Oxalis.
Compare wood sorrel.
3.
any of various similar plants.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English sorell < Old French surele, equivalent to sur sour (< Germanic; akin to Old High German sūr sour) + -el diminutive suffix; see -elle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sorrel
  • The surface of each was sprinkled with the winged seeds of a species of sorrel to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Redwood sorrel, sword ferns, and mosses stay cool and damp.
  • Seeds of touch-me-not and wood sorrel are among the staple foods.
  • sorrel also used outside people, sluggers, in the picket lines.
British Dictionary definitions for sorrel

sorrel1

/ˈsɒrəl/
noun
1.
  1. a light brown to brownish-orange colour
  2. (as adjective): a sorrel carpet
2.
a horse of this colour
Word Origin
C15: from Old French sorel, from sor a reddish brown, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch soor desiccated

sorrel2

/ˈsɒrəl/
noun
1.
any of several polygonaceous plants of the genus Rumex, esp R. acetosa, of Eurasia and North America, having acid-tasting leaves used in salads and sauces See also dock4 , sheep sorrel
2.
short for wood sorrel
Word Origin
C14: from Old French surele, from sur sour, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German sūrsour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for sorrel
adj.

"reddish brown," especially of horses, mid-14c., from Old French sorel, from sor "yellowish-brown," probably from Frankish *saur "dry," or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *sauza- (cf. Middle Dutch soor "dry," Old High German soren "to become dry," Old English sear "withered, barren;" see sere). Perhaps a diminutive form in French.

n.

small perennial plant, late 14c., from Old French surele (12c., Modern French surelle), from sur "sour," from Frankish *sur or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *sura- "sour" (cf. Old High German, Old English sur "sour;" see sour (adj.)). So called for the taste of its leaves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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