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 medicineb : the crocus supplying saffron
2 : a moderate orange to orange yellow
Recent Examples of saffron from the Web
A few noodle bowls proved the most satisfying: fresh spinach spaghetti, with broccoli, kale, preserved lemon, Parmesan, and saffron crumbs, was precisely al dente and return-worthy.
Frostbitten weeds poked from the hardpack, all granularity leeched from the countryside, the icy, angular topography distilled to surfaces shaded cobalt, steel and viridian set against a saffron sky.
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.
Origin and Etymology of saffron
Middle English, from Anglo-French saffron, safren, from Medieval Latin safranum, from Arabic zaʽfarān
First Known Use: 13th century
SAFFRON Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of saffron for English Language Learners
: 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
SAFFRON Defined for Kids
Definition of saffron for Students
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
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
Seen and Heard
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