verb (used with object), lau·reled, lau·rel·ing or (especially British) lau·relled, lau·rel·ling.
- laurel and hardy,
- laurel cherry,
- laurel family,
- laurel oak,
Origin of laurel
verb -rels, -relling or -relled or US -rels, -reling or -reled
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.
look to one's laurels
Protect one's preeminent reputation or position, especially against a threat of being surpassed. For example, Your opponent's done very well in the practice, so you'd better look to your laurels in the actual game. This idiom alludes to laurels as the traditional material for making a victor's crown. [Late 1800s]
see look to one's laurels; rest on one's laurels.