[hey-zuh l]
See more synonyms for hazel on Thesaurus.com
  1. any shrub or small tree belonging to the genus Corylus, of the birch family, having toothed, ovate leaves and bearing edible nuts, as C. avellana, of Europe, or C. americana and C. cornuta, of the Western Hemisphere.
  2. any of several other shrubs or trees, as an Australian shrub, Pomaderris apetala.
  3. the wood of any of these trees.
  4. the hazelnut or filbert.
  5. light golden brown, as the color of a hazelnut.
  1. of or relating to the hazel.
  2. made of the wood of the hazel.
  3. having a light golden-brown color.

Origin of hazel

before 900; Middle English hasel; Old English hæs(e)l; cognate with German Hasel, Old Norse hasl, Latin corylus hazel shrub
Related formsha·zel·ly, adjective


[hey-zuh l]
  1. a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hazel

Contemporary Examples of hazel

Historical Examples of hazel

  • If he meant to confuse her, he failed—for she only smiled and said to herself: "They're hazel."

  • "Of course, of course," murmured Hazel, looking down on the table.

  • Her eyes were of a gentle hazel, not the hazel that looks black at night.

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • And after a moment, lifting her hazel eyes to his, she said.

    Spawn of the Comet

    Harold Thompson Rich

  • She was pale to the lips, and her hazel eyes were blazing, as she cut into his apologies for Blood.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for hazel


  1. Also called: cob any of several shrubs of the N temperate genus Corylus, esp C. avellana, having oval serrated leaves and edible rounded brown nuts: family Corylaceae
  2. the wood of any of these trees
  3. short for hazelnut
    1. a light yellowish-brown colour
    2. (as adjective)hazel eyes

Word Origin for hazel

Old English hæsel; related to Old Norse hasl, Old High German hasala, Latin corylus, Old Irish coll
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hazel

Old English hæsl, hæsel, from Proto-Germanic *hasalaz (cf. Old Norse hasl, Middle Dutch hasel, German hasel), from PIE *koselo- "hazel" (cf. Latin corulus, Old Irish coll "hazel"). Shakespeare ("Romeo and Juliet," 1592) was first to use it (in print) in the sense of "reddish-brown color of eyes" (in reference to the color of ripe hazel-nuts), when Mercutio accuses Benvolio of being testy with:

Thou wilt quarrell with a man for cracking Nuts, hauing no reason, but because thou hast hasell eyes.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper