[ hen-uh ]
/ ˈhɛn ə /


an Asian shrub or small tree, Lawsonia inermis, of the loosestrife family, having elliptic leaves and fragrant flowers.
a reddish-orange dye or cosmetic made from the leaves of this plant.
a color midway between red-brown and orange-brown.

verb (used with object), hen·naed, hen·na·ing.

to tint or dye with henna.

Nearby words

  1. henle's sheath,
  2. henle's tubule,
  3. henley,
  4. henley, william ernest,
  5. henley-on-thames,
  6. hennepin,
  7. hennepin, louis,
  8. hennery,
  9. hennessey,
  10. hennin

Origin of henna

First recorded in 1590–1600, henna is from the Arabic word hinnā'

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for henna

British Dictionary definitions for henna


/ (ˈhɛnə) /


a lythraceous shrub or tree, Lawsonia inermis, of Asia and N Africa, with white or reddish fragrant flowers
a reddish dye obtained from the powdered leaves of this plant, used as a cosmetic and industrial dye
a reddish-brown or brown colour


(tr) to dye with henna
Archaic name (for senses 1, 2): camphire

Word Origin for henna

C16: from Arabic hinnā'; see alkanet

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 henna



c.1600, "dye or cosmetic from the henna plant," from Arabic hinna, name for the small thorny tree (Egyptian Privet, Lawsonia inermis), the leaves of which are used to make the reddish dye; said to be of Persian origin. Related: Hennaed (1860).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper