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 Teen programs include a ‘take-and-make’ henna tattoo offering, in which a teen can pick up a kit at the library, and then watch a lesson from an online instructor, and make their own tattoos. Steve Smith, courant.com, "Windsor library learning from ‘new normal’," 21 Aug. 2020 Smaller bridal henna parties are $500-$1,000 per event. Nargis Rahman, Detroit Free Press, "They do weddings for multicultural brides. COVID-19 is disrupting their plans.," 15 Aug. 2020 Then the festivities began, as Saad Khan walked beneath a canopy amid cheers and drumbeats, following women in colorful shawls bearing plates of candles and liquid henna. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore meets Bollywood: Wedding planners, families say area has become a top choice for South Asian weddings," 10 July 2019 Vendors lined the pathways offering henna painting, palm reading, silk clothes, artwork, dolls, jewelry, paper parasols, bamboo hats and animé posters. Sara Cline, ExpressNews.com, "Annual Asian Festival held in San Antonio Saturday," 1 Feb. 2020 The Mendhi, which is held the day before the wedding and typically is for female guests to get henna, was opened to men and turned into a pre-party for the big day, complete with coordinated dance performances from Ojas’ friends and relatives. al, "This Birmingham couple had 2 weddings in 2 countries," 5 Feb. 2020 Humans have been dyeing hair since the Ancient Egyptian era, but natural dyes like henna and chemical goop like Clairol’s game-changing 1950s home formulas have mostly focused on covering up rather than accentuating hair that’s lost its pigment. Rory Satran, WSJ, "The Hottest Hair Color of the Moment is...Gray," 17 Jan. 2019 This year, more than 40 artists were scheduled to participate in the event, doing interactive live art demonstrations, writing names in Arabic calligraphy and applying henna to some of the thousands of attendees as well. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Sixth annual festival in Spring area celebrates Islamic art," 11 Nov. 2019 Try again from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, when Curry Up Now will be giving away free burritos again at a silent disco and henna party in Burlingame, at the corner of Howard Avenue and Primrose Road. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "Deal: Free burritos for Curry Up Now’s 10th anniversary," 23 Sep. 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


1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for henna


Arabic ḥinnā'

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Time Traveler for henna

Time Traveler

The first known use of henna was in 1600

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Statistics for henna

Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Henna.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/henna. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for henna


How to pronounce henna (audio)

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about henna

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