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 rest on 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 rest on one's laurels (1 of 2)

rest on one's laurels


Rely on one's past achievements, especially as a way of avoiding the work needed to advance one's status. For example, Now that Julian's in his eighties, he's decided to rest on his laurels and let some of the younger agents do the work. This term alludes to the crown of laurels awarded in ancient times for a spectacular achievement. [Late 1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with rest on 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.