Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several Mediterranean plants of the genus Reseda, especially R. odorata, widely cultivated for its terminal, dense, spikelike clusters of very fragrant but inconspicuous greenish flowers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant (Reseda odorata) having greenish flowers with orange-colored stamens, and exhaling a delicious fragrance. In Africa it is a low shrub, but further north it is usually an annual herb.
  • n. A grey-green colour, like that of the plant.
  • adj. Of a grey-green colour, like that of the plant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plant (Reseda odorata) having greenish flowers with orange-colored stamens, and exhaling a delicious fragrance. In Africa it is a low shrub, but further north it is usually an annual herb.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A well-known plant, Reseda odorata, native in northern Africa.
  • n. Some other species of the genus Reseda.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. Mediterranean woody annual widely cultivated for its dense terminal spikelike clusters greenish or yellowish white flowers having an intense spicy fragrance

Etymologies

French, from feminine of mignonnet, dainty, pretty, from Old French, diminutive of mignon, lover, dainty.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French mignonette, from mignon ("dainty") + -ette ("diminutive suffix"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Either she would be very severe, flat back and front, or she would be tall, fair, dressed in mignonette green, name – Daisy, and smelling of rather sweetish lavender water.

    Bliss, and Other Stories

  • In order to break up extremes of colours you can always use masses of white flowers, or something like mignonette, which is in effect green.

    The Library of Work and Play: Gardening and Farming.

  • In the garden-borders the mignonette is a very inconspicuous little plant, and passes almost unnoticed beside the flaunting gaudiness of the dahlia or the showy spikes of the hollyhock, yet it is from that modest, low-growing, grey-green flower that comes the sweetness that perfumes the whole air, for the most optimistic person would hardly expect fragrance from dahlias or hollyhocks.

    Here, There and Everywhere

  • Plants which only live one year, such as mignonette, the sweet pea, and the poppy, take in just enough food to supply their daily wants and to make the seeds we shall speak of presently.

    The Fairy-Land of Science

  • "'Is that mignonette which is so oppressively fragrant?' she asked, lifting the bouquet to her nose.

    Ernest Linwood or, The Inner Life of the Author

  • Yellow: champagne (19); lemon (22), and reseda (mignonette) (22);

    Further thoughts about “Pavlova”

  • The best, though, is also the simplest appropriate, as "Desnuda" is Spanish for "nude" or "bare": raw Beau Soleil oysters with chipotle mignonette, shallot-tosazu gelee and other seasonal sauces.

    Bare on the Half Shell

  • Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal Oysters, with shallot-tozazu gelee and chipotle mignonette.

    Bare on the Half Shell

  • Inside the walls of outwardly ramshackle homes, roses crept alongside flowering myrtle, fragrant jasmine, mignonette, six-foot-tall scarlet dahlias stood next to orange, pink, and purple bougainvillea.

    Ajijic: the way we were

  • I started with oysters on the half shell with a mignonette sauce simple because I don't remember a meal I've eaten at the Milky Way without oysters.

    Archive 2008-04-01

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