variants or less commonly otto
: a fragrant essential oil (as from rose petals)
also : fragrance

Example Sentences

exuding the attar of jasmine, the beautifully bejeweled woman set off for the ball
Recent Examples on the Web Try the Künefe dessert, made with spun pastry called kataifi, soaked in attar syrup, and layered with melted, unsalted cheese. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 12 June 2022 Queen Charlotte had an entire room at Windsor Castle dedicated to her snuff collection, her favorite of which was named Violet Strasbourg, a blend mixed with bitter almonds, ambergris, and attar. Lauren Puckett, Harper's BAZAAR, 11 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Persian ʽaṭir perfumed, from Arabic, from ʽiṭr perfume

First Known Use

1790, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of attar was in 1790

Dictionary Entries Near attar

Cite this Entry

“Attar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


at·​tar ˈat-ər How to pronounce attar (audio)
: a fragrant oil that comes from a plant (as the rose) and is used in perfumes or flavorings
also : fragrance

Medical Definition


: a fragrant essential oil
especially : attar of roses
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?