hen·na | \ˈhe-nə \

Definition of henna 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a reddish-brown dye obtained from leaves of the henna plant and used especially on hair and in temporary tattoos

2 : an Old World tropical shrub or small tree (Lawsonia inermis) of the loosestrife family with small opposite leaves and panicles of fragrant usually white flowers


hennaed; hennaing; hennas

Definition of henna (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to dye with henna a woman with hennaed hair

Examples of henna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One painting features a woman’s hand, covered with henna, clasped in a defiant fist. Libby Solomon, baltimoresun.com, "'No one can stop me': Afghan artist Sughra Hussainy on women's rights and change through art," 3 July 2018 One boardwalk worker, henna artist Bobby Kole, 25, uses his sales skill to bring teens into Oxygen Tattoo. Avalon R. Zoppo, Philly.com, "Senior Week in Wildwood: A money-making machine that residents love to hate," 20 June 2018 Everything about the performance, including her flaming red outfit complete with a tribal henna tattoo design on her head, was a fitting tribute to Elliott and her signature style. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "Missy Elliott and Zedd Tweet Support For Stunning Covers of Their Songs on 'The Four'," 13 July 2018 Beyond henna, most Senegalese face masks are simply fruit, says Diop. Kristie Dash, Allure, "The 8 Most Popular Face Mask Ingredients in the World," 25 Mar. 2018 Some women had their hands decorated with henna and glitter in preparation of the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan and is observed Friday. Laura Gómez, azcentral, "Muslim community finds place to celebrate Ramadan at Glendale Christian church," 15 June 2018 The event will feature children's activities, an artisan marketplace, herbal products, henna tattoos, and chair massages. Courant Community, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 12 June 2018 The $150 ticket includes first crack at the folk art, including beadwork, carvings, metalwork, jewelry, sculpture and home goods; Moroccan food and drinks; belly dancing; henna tattoos; live music; and more. Sandy Guerra-cline, star-telegram, "Modern art, music top the list of things to do in DFW this week," 6 June 2018 Some fans donned neon accessories while others went all in with glowing works of art created directly on the skin by henna artist JessiKay Graham. Scott Utterback, The Courier-Journal, "Downs After Dark adopts neon night theme at Churchill Downs," 3 June 2018

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


1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for henna


Arabic ḥinnā'

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Time Traveler for henna

The first known use of henna was in 1600

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English Language Learners Definition of henna

: a reddish-brown dye used especially for coloring hair or skin


hen·na | \ˈhen-ə \

Medical Definition of henna 

1 : an Old World tropical shrub or small tree (Lawsonia inermis) of the loosestrife family (Lythraceae) with clusters of fragrant white flowers

2 : a reddish brown dye obtained from the leaves of the henna plant and used especially on hair and in temporary tattoos

More from Merriam-Webster on henna

See words that rhyme with henna

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about henna

Comments on henna

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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