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 Other local favorites include pasta dishes with saffron and local truffles. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 8 Sep. 2022 Tandoori, with saffron, paprika, cumin, and cardamom; and Za’atar, which includes sumac, thyme, mint, and Aleppo pepper. Ann Trieger Kurland,, 21 June 2022 And India itself, with its official secularism and three-colored flag (including saffron for Hindus and green for Muslims), was showing its fraying seams. Siva Vaidhyanathan, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2022 While the company’s spice blends and its iconic saffron have been a hit, the brand has now launched salts blended with their fragrant spices, such as the wild foraged fennel, black cumin from the Hindu Kush, and dill seed from Herat. Esha Chhabra, Forbes, 29 June 2022 Turn heads with Tom Ford's sweet yet spicy blend of vanilla, saffron and coriander. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, 22 July 2022 When Toor arrived, wearing a loose, saffron-colored linen shirt over matching pants, Feinstein showed him around. Calvin Tomkins, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 In Tanzania, as recorded by the German social anthropologist Hanna Nieber, healers inscribe verses from the Quran in saffron-hued ink on a plate, then rinse it and give the water, now rich with the holy word, to their patients as medicine. New York Times, 11 May 2022 There’s also a salt blend with their flagship, the saffron. Esha Chhabra, Forbes, 29 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for saffron

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

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Dictionary Entries Near saffron

safflower red


saffron plum

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Saffron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for saffron


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

More from Merriam-Webster on saffron

Nglish: Translation of saffron for Spanish Speakers

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


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