saf·​fron | \ ˈsa-ˌfrän How to pronounce saffron (audio) , -frən How to pronounce saffron (audio) \

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

Set aside to steep until saffron dissolves and colors water. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "This Recipe Will Make Your House Smell Heavenly," 24 June 2019 Traditional Middle Eastern saffron combines with rice, seafood, sausage, and chicken for a recipe that is quintessentially Spanish. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "Tapas 101: Rick Steves' guide to eating adventurously, authentically and affordably in Spain," 17 June 2019 Downstairs, Porter wears a saffron pantsuit as shooting begins for an episode focusing on the two young men Blanca adopted last season: aspiring dancer Damon (played by Ryan Jamaal Swain) and his reckless boyfriend, Ricky (Dyllon Burnside). Washington Post, "On ‘Pose,’ dancing isn’t just about self-expression. It’s a survival skill for trans women.," 7 June 2019 My refrigerator is always stocked with: saffron water. Louisa Shafia, WSJ, "How To Be a Happy and Relaxed Host," 10 Jan. 2019 Place the asparagus on your plate, spoon over some saffron-chive vinaigrette and top with hot scallops. 13. Multiple Authors, House Beautiful, "The Sea Grill's Grilled Day Boat Sea Scallops," 1 May 2010 Servings of saffron risotto, sea bass, and chocolate gâteau circulated the room, and afterwards, guests were treated to a talk by Deneuve herself, who waxed nostalgic about her days wearing Saint Laurent and the man himself. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Catherine Deneuve Is Feted by Saint Laurent's Anthony Vaccarello With a Dinner in Paris," 22 Jan. 2019 The menu consists of Northern Italian comfort foods, from veal osso bucco with saffron risotto to perfectly crisp chicken Milanese, and there’s a perfect wine for every dish. Alex Van Buren, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Italian Restaurants in New York," 27 Feb. 2018 These wines merge savory and fruity flavors perfectly, with a mix of heady saffron and ginger flavors mixing with ripe, lush stone fruit. Kristin Tice Studeman, Vogue, "The Best Wine for Every Thanksgiving Scenario," 19 Nov. 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

10 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce saffron (audio) \

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 How to pronounce saffron (audio) , -rən How to pronounce saffron (audio) \

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

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