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heather

[heth-er]
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noun
  1. any of various heaths, especially Calluna vulgaris, of England and Scotland, having small, pinkish-purple flowers.
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adjective
  1. (of a yarn or fabric color) subtly flecked or mottled: all-cotton turtlenecks in your choice of five solid colors plus heather gray and heather green.
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Origin of heather

1300–50; spelling variant of hether, earlier hedder, hadder, hather, Middle English hathir; akin to heath
Related formsheath·ered, adjective

Heather

[heth-er]
noun
  1. a female given name.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for heather

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I left the village in the gathering gloom and was soon out on the heather.

  • "I'll put them on whan I come to the heather," she concluded.

    Salted With Fire

    George MacDonald

  • Straucht up hill throuw the heather, and I'll put my sheen on!'

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • In pure obedience he rose from the heather, and sat upon the stone.

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • Like one in a dream he followed, his head hanging, his eyes on the heather.

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald


British Dictionary definitions for heather

heather

noun
  1. Also called: ling, heath a low-growing evergreen Eurasian ericaceous shrub, Calluna vulgaris, that grows in dense masses on open ground and has clusters of small bell-shaped typically pinkish-purple flowers
  2. any of certain similar plants
  3. a purplish-red to pinkish-purple colour
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adjective
  1. of a heather colour
  2. of or relating to interwoven yarns of mixed coloursheather mixture
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Derived Formsheathered, adjectiveheathery, adjective

Word Origin

C14: originally Scottish and Northern English, probably from heath
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 heather

n.

early 14c., hathir, from Old English *hæddre, Scottish or northern England dialect name for Calluna vulgaris, probably altered by heath, but real connection to that word is unlikely [Liberman, OED]. Perhaps originally Celtic. As a fem. proper name little used in U.S. before 1935, but a top-15 name for girls born there 1971-1989.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper