heath·​er | \ ˈhe-t͟hər How to pronounce heather (audio) \

Definition of heather

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: heath sense 2a especially : a common Eurasian heath (Calluna vulgaris) of northern and alpine regions that has small crowded sessile leaves and racemes of tiny usually purplish-pink flowers and is naturalized in the northeastern U.S.



Definition of heather (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of heather in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hills were covered in heather and bracken, and the fields were divided by old stone walls that had fallen apart in places. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Mary McCartney Became an Artist With a Little Help from Linda and Paul," 28 Aug. 2018 After a walk through yellow gorse and purple heather, my wife reasonably suggested driving to a beach: After all, Ilsington is less than 15 miles from the English Channel as the crow flies. Peter Saenger, WSJ, "A Driving Tour of Devon, England—on Perilously Narrow Roads," 30 Oct. 2018 Printed on Bella + Canvas 3001 unisex shirts in multiple colors and plenty of sizes (everything from S-4XL), our shirts are 100 percent combed and ring-spun cotton (except for heather, which contains some polyester). Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Caffeinate in style with an Ars Technica mug—now cheaper than ever," 12 Oct. 2018 The Fearless barcode graphic appears once more on an oversize heather gray tee ($35) and runs alongside a Privé logo tee (also $35) and staple hoodie ($90). Monica Kim, Vogue, "EXO’s Baekhyun Just Dropped His Second Streetwear Capsule," 14 Sep. 2018 The lightweight blankets are available in over 30 colors, from smokey heather to sunny yellow, as solids or with a herringbone pattern. Elle Decor Staff, ELLE Decor, "Throw Down," 23 Dec. 2011 In the category of age-statement blends, Aldi's Highland Black 8-year-old Scotch Whisky (heather, strawberry leaf, lemon oil) was one of three products to earn a gold medal. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Aldi whisky the best? Drinks honored by Spirits trade journal," 13 June 2018 The three-acre Heather Garden at Fort Tryon Park is a spectacle of shrubs, perennials and bulbs along with heathers and heaths that bring echoes of the Scottish Highlands to the Hudson. Adrian Higgins, sacbee, "Fertilize your creative spirit with these gardening books," 8 June 2018 Gardeners already know drought-tolerant Mexican heather can take the heat when planted in a pot or in the ground. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: New annuals for this year’s garden," 16 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The pillows and blankets, which range in price from $275–$345 to $595–$695, respectively, come in off-white, heather taupe, coastal, and charcoal. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "Vince Will Launch a Home Collection This Fall," 28 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heather.' 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 heather


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1615, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for heather


Middle English (northern) hather

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Time Traveler for heather

The first known use of heather was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for heather



English Language Learners Definition of heather

: a low-growing plant of northern areas that has small leaves and tiny white or purplish-pink flowers


heath·​er | \ ˈhe-t͟hər How to pronounce heather (audio) \

Kids Definition of heather

: an evergreen heath of northern and mountainous areas with pink flowers and needlelike leaves

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More from Merriam-Webster on heather

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heather

Spanish Central: Translation of heather

Nglish: Translation of heather for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heather

Comments on heather

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


an enemy or opponent

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