ha·​zel | \ˈhā-zəl \

Definition of hazel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of a genus (Corylus and especially the American C. americana and the European C. avellana) of shrubs or small trees of the birch family bearing nuts enclosed in a leafy involucre

2 : a light brown to strong yellowish brown



Definition of hazel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : consisting of hazels or of the wood of the hazel

2a : of the color hazel

b of eyes : of a variable color averaging light greenish-grayish brown

Examples of hazel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her eyes were a deep hazel color, her bowed mouth was lush and full, and her long hair had the faintest copper-y hue to it. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award runner-up: "Most Best Happy Korean Bright Star" by Michelle Massie," 2 June 2018 Alexander is described as 3 feet 9 inches tall and 43 lbs. with brown hair and hazel eyes. Greg Hanlon, PEOPLE.com, "Florida Boy, 6, Has Been Missing Since February — and Authorities Think He's Traveling with Fugitive," 3 July 2018 He's described as Hispanic, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and hazel eyes. Maggie Wilson, ajc, "$1 million nationwide warrant issued for Washington man sought in beheading death," 30 June 2018 She is described as 4’11 with light brown hair and hazel eyes. Juliet Muir, NBC News, "Police still searching for answers 35 years after murder of Paul, disappearance of Melody Ann Jones," 29 Apr. 2018 Whatever the topic, Ms. Magic speaks with a faraway sense of wonder, her hazel eyes seeming to sparkle. Alex Williams, New York Times, "Tech Elites Recreate Burning Man Inside Their Living Rooms," 29 June 2018 Privacy - Terms He is described as being 5 feet 7 inches, weighing 142 pounds with short brown/gray hair, hazel eyes and a goatee. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "At-risk man missing after walking away from Carmichael nursing home," 23 Mar. 2018 Her face was still cloaked in bandages and a knit tube dressing, with openings for her hazel eyes, nose and lips. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, "After Lombard teen severely burned in bonfire explosion, friends bring prom to her," 19 May 2018 Description: White, 6 feet tall, 175 pounds, with red hair and hazel eyes. Frequented areas: He is known to frequent San Marcos. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's Wanted: Domestic violence," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Blue-eyed beauties take note: an eggplant mascara like this one makes green and hazel eyes look even greener. Devon Abelman, Allure, "9 of the Best Colored Mascaras for Trying the Bold Lash Trend," 3 May 2018 He is described as a white male with green or hazel eyes, and blond or red hair. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Suspect's sketches released in Washington cold-case murder of young couple," 11 Apr. 2018 He is believed to be a black-haired, 5-foot-9 Hispanic man with hazel eyes who weighs 150 pounds, according to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Decapitated body found near remote ammo-filled survivalist bunker in Washington, police say," 9 Mar. 2018 Chanel released the first image from the campaign on Wednesday and in the stunning closeup shot, K-Stew is shown in profile, staring determinedly ahead, wearing nothing but her pre-buzz locks, bright hazel eyes, and dewy, natural makeup. Andrea Park, Allure, "Kristen Stewart Has Short Brown Hair in Her New Chanel Ad," 17 Aug. 2017 The boy, who has a snub nose and wondering hazel eyes, is not at all afraid. David Denby, The New Yorker, "Steven Spielberg at Seventy," 16 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hazel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hazel


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hazel


Middle English hasel, from Old English hæsel; akin to Old High German hasal hazel, Latin corulus

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Statistics for hazel

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hazel

The first known use of hazel was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for hazel



English Language Learners Definition of hazel

: a kind of bush or small tree that produces nuts

: a color that combines light brown with green and gray


ha·​zel | \ˈhā-zəl \

Kids Definition of hazel

1 : a shrub or small tree that bears an edible nut

2 : a color that combines light brown with green and gray hazel eyes

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Comments on hazel

What made you want to look up hazel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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