from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of a yellowish-or reddish-brown color.
  • noun A color between a reddish and a yellowish brown.
  • noun An animal of a sorrel color; especially, a sorrel horse.
  • noun A buck of the third year. Compare sore, n., 2.
  • noun One of several species of the genus Rumex, smaller plants than the docks of the same genus, having the leaves typically halberd-shaped, more or less succulent, and impregnated with oxalic acid.
  • noun A plant of the genus Oxalis, more properly called wood-sorrel (see cuts under Oxalis and obcordate): the name is also extended to other plants of different genera (see phrases)
  • noun The sheep-sorrel: probably from the red male inflorescence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of a yellowish or redish brown color.
  • noun A yellowish or redish brown color.
  • noun (Bot.) One of various plants having a sour juice; especially, a plant of the genus Rumex, as Rumex Acetosa, Rumex Acetosella, etc.
  • noun (Bot.) See under Mountain.
  • noun (Bot.) A troublesome weed (Rumex Acetosella), also called sheep sorrel.
  • noun (Chem.) binoxalate of potassa; -- so called because obtained from the juice of Rumex Acetosella, or Rumex Axetosa.
  • noun (Bot.) a small ericaceous tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) whose leaves resemble those of the peach and have a sour taste. It is common along the Alleghanies. Called also sourwood.
  • noun (Bot.) any plant of the genus Oxalis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A kind of plant with acidic leaves, especially Rumex acetosa (common sorrel), sometimes used as a salad vegetable.
  • noun A brown colour, with a tint of red.
  • adjective Of a brown colour, with a tint of red.

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

  • noun any plant or flower of the genus Oxalis
  • noun a horse of a brownish orange to light brown color
  • adjective of a light brownish color
  • noun large sour-tasting arrowhead-shaped leaves used in salads and sauces
  • noun any of certain coarse weedy plants with long taproots, sometimes used as table greens or in folk medicine
  • noun East Indian sparsely prickly annual herb or perennial subshrub widely cultivated for its fleshy calyxes used in tarts and jelly and for its bast fiber


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old French surele, from sur ("sour"), of Germanic origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Middle French sorel, from sor ("yellowish-brown"), probably from Frankish *saur "dried" (cognates of which are Middle Dutch soor ("dum"), Old High German soren ("to become dry"), and Old English sear ("withered, barren"). See also sere.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word sorrel.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Or a light reddish brown.

    December 22, 2007

  • Usage/historical note can be found on mandrake.

    October 9, 2017