saf·fron | \ˈsa-ˌfrän, -frən \

Definition of saffron 

1a : the deep orange aromatic pungent dried stigmas of a purple-flowered crocus (Crocus sativus) used to color and flavor foods and formerly as a dyestuff and in medicine

b : the crocus supplying saffron

2 : a moderate orange to orange yellow

Examples of saffron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Using a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron to a fine powder and set aside. Nik Sharma,, "A Brown Kitchen: Mango layer cake for a fresh summer treat," 11 July 2018 Seven entree items round out the otherwise small plates focused menu, including two paellas, a house-ground burger, and a pan roasted chicken and saffron rice dish. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Spanish flavors are bold (but imperfect) at this Louisville restaurant," 27 June 2018 Ingredients include Calabrian citrus and Peruvian balsam in Sur La Route, while oud, cocoa, saffron and incense are in Nouveau Monde. Kavita Daswani,, "The Westside and Everafter open in Santa Monica, Thalé Blanc offers L.A.-style backpacks at new store," 8 June 2018 Tiny, airy Parisian dumplings are fine accents to silky chicken torchon, graced with crisped skin; and saffron tagliatelle support black-trumpet mushrooms, pickled pearl onions and toasted peanuts. Phil Vettel,, "Review: Sky's the limit with ambitious Santo Cielo," 18 May 2018 Victoria Beckham has been testing out new looks and yesterday, for her husband David’s Kent & Curwen London Fashion Week presentation, stepped out in a silk scarf-like dress with saffron yellow heels, based on fan feedback on Instagram. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Victoria Beckham Wears Her Own Label (What Else!) to Her Husband’s Fashion Presentation," 11 June 2018 Crunchy lengths of baguette, slathered with a saffron and espelette pepper rouille, stand at attention in the classic dish. Ellen Bhang,, "At Shepard, a vibrant pink is a match for bouillabaisse," 22 May 2018 Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot, and add the meat, turmeric, ginger, saffron, salt and pepper. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Artistry, flavor blends are marks of Moroccan," 10 July 2018 There’s also a sandwich called the Millionaire made with salmon, crème fraîche, saffron aioli and caviar. Jenn Harris,, "The California Hot Sauce Expo is a two-day hot sauce party. Are you ready?," 3 July 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for saffron

Middle English, from Anglo-French saffron, safren, from Medieval Latin safranum, from Arabic zaʽfarān

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Statistics for saffron

Last Updated

4 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for saffron

The first known use of saffron was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for saffron



English Language Learners Definition of saffron

: an orange powder that is made from a type of flower (called a crocus) and that is used to color and flavor food

: an orange to orange-yellow color


saf·fron | \ˈsa-frən \

Kids Definition of saffron

1 : an orange spice that is made from the dried stigmas of a crocus and is used to color or flavor foods

2 : an orange to orange yellow


saf·fron | \ˈsaf-rän, -rən \

Medical Definition of saffron 

1 : the deep orange aromatic pungent dried stigmas of a purple-flowered crocus used to color and flavor foods and formerly as a dyestuff and as a stimulant antispasmodic emmenagogue in medicine

2 : a purple-flowered crocus (Crocus sativa) that is the source of saffron

called also saffron crocus

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More from Merriam-Webster on saffron

Spanish Central: Translation of saffron

Nglish: Translation of saffron for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of saffron for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about saffron

Comments on saffron

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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