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

Immediately remove from heat and add diced tomatoes, saffron and cayenne. Multiple Authors, House Beautiful, "The Sea Grill's Grilled Day Boat Sea Scallops," 1 May 2010 Prince Harry was given hot sauce and rum in the Caribbean, and Prince Charles was gifted with pasta, olive oil, and saffron in Italy. Marcia Moody, Town & Country, "From Crocodiles to Hot Sauce, Here's How the Royal Family Does Gift Giving," 14 Aug. 2018 The base is warm but still light and inviting, with santal, amber wood, and saffron cream. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Britney Spears Is Launching a A Unisex Fragrance Called Prerogative," 17 July 2018 Just a few strands of saffron are enough to gently infuse this entire dish, shown below, with a brilliant yellow color. Grace Young, ELLE Decor, "Spanish Culinary Ambassador," 5 July 2012 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

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

27 Nov 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

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