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Definitions

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

  • n. A thistlelike Eurasian plant (Carthamus tinctorius) of the composite family, having heads of orange flowers that yield a dyestuff and produce seeds containing an oil used in cooking, cosmetics, paints, and medicine.
  • n. The dried flowers of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cultivated thistle-like plant, Carthamus tinctorius, family Asteraceae, now grown mainly for its oil.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An annual composite plant (Carthamus tinctorius), the flowers of which are used as a dyestuff and in making rouge; bastard, or false, saffron.
  • n. The dried flowers of the Carthamus tinctorius.
  • n. A dyestuff from these flowers. See Safranin (b).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A composite plant, Carthamus tinctorius; also, a drug and dyestuff consisting of its dried florets.

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

  • n. thistlelike Eurasian plant widely grown for its red or orange flower heads and seeds that yield a valuable oil

Etymologies

Middle English saflour, from Old French safleur, from Old Italian saffiore, from Arabic 'aṣfar, yellow, a yellow plant; see ṣpr2 in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle French safleur, from Arabic اصفر (áṣfar, "yellow"). (Wiktionary)

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