- Also called bay, sweet bay. a small European evergreen tree, Laurus nobilis, of the laurel family, having dark, glossy green leaves.Compare laurel family.
- any tree of the genus Laurus.
- any of various similar trees or shrubs, as the mountain laurel or the great rhododendron.
- the foliage of the laurel as an emblem of victory or distinction.
- a branch or wreath of laurel foliage.
- Usually laurels. honor won, as for achievement in a field or activity.
- to adorn or wreathe with laurel.
- to honor with marks of distinction.
- look to one's laurels, to be alert to the possibility of being excelled or surpassed: New developments in the industry are forcing long-established firms to look to their laurels.
- rest on one's laurels, to be content with one's past or present honors, achievements, etc.: He retired at the peak of his career and is resting on his laurels.
Origin of laurel
Synonyms for laurel
Examples from the Web for laurelled
Historical Examples of laurelled
The choir had ceased to sing; the uproar of our laurelled equipage alarmed the graves no more.The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols)
Thomas De Quincey
But the house stood isolated, and outside the laurelled forests and porous cliffs soaked up the dissonance as a blotter soaks ink.The Roof Tree
Charles Neville Buck
They revelled in the devilish halo of skirts on the whirl encircling Lord Ormont's laurelled head.Lord Ormont and his Aminta, Complete
You crown our distant ardours while we fight, And mourn our laurelled memories when we're killed.The War Poems
A very clever etching of a winged and laurelled Death playing on the bagpipe and making his appearance to an old couple at table.The Dance of Death
- Also called: bay, true laurel any lauraceous tree of the genus Laurus, such as the bay tree (see bay 4) and L. canariensis, of the Canary Islands and Azores
- any lauraceous plant
- short for cherry laurel, mountain laurel
- spurge laurel a European thymelaeaceous evergreen shrub, Daphne laureola, with glossy leaves and small green flowers
- spotted laurel or Japan laurel an evergreen cornaceous shrub, Aucuba japonica, of S and SE Asia, the female of which has yellow-spotted leaves
- (plural) a wreath of true laurel, worn on the head as an emblem of victory or honour in classical times
- (plural) honour, distinction, or fame
- look to one's laurels to be on guard against one's rivals
- rest on one's laurels to be satisfied with distinction won by past achievements and cease to strive for further achievements
- (tr) to crown with laurels
Word Origin for laurel
c.1300, lorrer, from Old French laurier (12c.), from Latin laurus "laurel tree," probably related to Greek daphne "laurel" (for change of d- to l- see lachrymose), probably from a pre-IE Mediterranean language. The change of second -r- to -l- after mid-14c. is by dissimilation. An emblem of victory or of distinction, hence the phrase to rest (originally repose) on one's laurels, first attested 1831.
see look to one's laurels; rest on one's laurels.