laurel

[ lawr-uhl, lor- ]
/ ˈlɔr əl, ˈlɒr- /

noun

verb (used with object), lau·reled, lau·rel·ing or (especially British) lau·relled, lau·rel·ling.

to adorn or wreathe with laurel.
to honor with marks of distinction.

Idioms

    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

1250–1300; dissimilated variant of Middle English laurer, earlier lorer < Anglo-French; Old French lorier bay tree, equivalent to lor bay, laurel (< Latin laurus) + -ier -ier2; see -er2

SYNONYMS FOR laurel

Related forms

un·lau·reled, adjectiveun·lau·relled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for look to one's laurels

laurel

/ (ˈlɒrəl) /

noun

verb -rels, -relling or -relled or US -rels, -reling or -reled

(tr) to crown with laurels

Word Origin for laurel

C13 lorer, from Old French lorier laurel tree, ultimately from Latin laurus
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

Idioms and Phrases with look to one's laurels (1 of 2)

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]

Idioms and Phrases with look to one's laurels (2 of 2)

laurel


see look to one's laurels; rest on one's laurels.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.