hen·​na | \ ˈhe-nə How to pronounce henna (audio) \

Definition of henna

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a reddish-brown dye that is used especially on hair and in temporary tattoos and is obtained from the leaves of an Old World tropical shrub or small tree
2 : the Old World tropical shrub or small tree (Lawsonia inermis) of the loosestrife family that yields henna dye and has small opposite leaves and clusters 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

Henna and Glitter Tattoos with Miss Natasha, 3 p.m., Ramona Library, 1275 Main St. Join the library for custom henna and glitter tattoo body art. Ramona Sentinel, "Ramona Calendar of Events: Aug. 8-14," 7 Aug. 2019 Party Poolooza, will special guests Ja Rule and Brooke Evers, two stages of music, food trucks, a full-service bar with custom cocktails, henna tattoos, beer pong, swings, a braid bar, and more. Camila Vallejo, courant.com, "Pool party meets music fest at Foxwoods’ first Party Poolooza," 24 July 2019 The festival will feature multiple vendors, face painting, henna artists, Bollywood dancing, crafts, a kite-making workshop, and more. Corey Dockser, BostonGlobe.com, "Armenian dances, kite flying, and the moon landing," 17 July 2019 Brown says the only one hundred percent natural hair color is vegetable dye and certain brands of henna. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "Organic Hair Dye Is a Myth—But You Can Still Find Clean Hair Color," 19 June 2019 Charlie and Teddy eagerly stuck out tiny little arms for henna tattoos. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Theme Park Fun At First Friday," 15 July 2019 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's whirlwind trip to Morocco included so many highlights, from the duchess receiving a henna tattoo to celebrate her pregnancy, to several unforgettable outfit changes. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Performed Her First Curtsy to a Foreign Dignitary in Morocco & We Almost Missed It," 26 Feb. 2019 Things to do: Check out the Winter Mela, an Indian cultural event with henna, yoga and dance, hosted by the Shiva Vishnu Temple in February. at Ocean Air Park. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Carmel Valley: Large homes, parks and award-winning schools," 30 June 2019 Make a list of wedding traditions form around the world: donning henna in India, releasing doves like the Dutch, or wearing black in Spain, to name a few, and quiz and enlighten your guests with traditional wedding knowledge. Heather Hall, Harper's BAZAAR, "10 Bridal Shower Game Ideas You Won't Hate Playing," 5 June 2019

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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Statistics for henna

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce henna (audio) \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: 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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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